Forever Amber (1947) - full transcript

Amber St Clair means to get on in life and despite a poor background knows she has the assets to do it. Husbands, lovers, prison and a liaison with King Charles II form a tapestry of apparently calculating ups and downs, although in fact the one love of her life, Bruce Carlton, is never far from Amber's thoughts.

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Giddyup! Hyah!

Let us praise the Lord

who sendeth so generously
of His bounty to our table.

Let us show unto Him our thanks
by devoting our every thought

and every waking moment
to the contemplation of His goodness

and to the resolute pursuit
or our moral duty.

Amen.

Then we may consider the matter
agreed, Master Starling.

Yes, Master Goodgroome.

This will be a good marriage,
all things considered.



It's high time
my ward settled down

to the duties of being
a wife and mother.

And you, Amber, have you
nothing to say for yourself?

Well, speak up, my girl.

I won't marry him.

Amber.

What did you say, girl?

I'll never marry him,

nor any other farmer
you try to force on me.

Do you think I want to spend
the rest of my life in a pigsty?

Go to your room at once.

I owe you my apologies,
Master Starling.

And you, Robert.

Matt.



The girl's only out of humor.

I've borne enough of her humors
and her sinful pride.

Her vain ways have been
a village scandal

ever since she learned to walk.

I've raised the vixen
as my own daughter,

and, like my own daughter,
she'll behave,

if it means the skin
off her back entire.

No whip, Matt.
Please.

All right, no whip,

but she'll have to learn
once and for all

that vanity is Satan
at work in the female soul.

I've stood the last of her nonsense.

She'll marry Bob Starling,
and that's the end of it.

My services, sir.
Is there an inn hereabouts?

I need assistance
for a wounded man

and lodging for the night.

There's an inn down the road.

Hurry, wench, hurry.
The gentlemen are waiting.

Bid them be patient.
Supper will be served soon.

Mistress Poterell.

What are you doing
here, child?

I came to help.
I knew you'd be busy.

Bless you. You can help.

Take this wine
in to the gentlemen.

Yes, Mistress Poterell.

We aren't
used to gentlemen like you.

My arm.

Out of the way, wench.

Put him here by the fire.

You'll be comfortable there.

That's it.

Not so fast, sweetheart.
I'm thirsty.

Been out of the country so long

that even these Puritan
wenches seem tempting.

Yes, bless my eyes.

Your pardon, sir.

We're still two days'
hard riding from London,

thanks to that cursed
ambush this afternoon.

We should be
in our saddles by sunrise.

When you're fed, gentlemen,
get some sleep.

Right, Bruce.

Good night, Bruce.

Well, that's more
what nature had in mind.

I'll buy a cup of your wine
for a kiss.

Thank you, sir.

Have these Puritan devils
corrupted our Englishwomen

with their inhuman ideas?

- Thank you, my dear.
- My lord—

Come, now, sweetheart,
be reasonable.

- You're for London to join the king?
- We're for London.

- May I ride with you?
- Ride with us?

- There's a sound notion.
- Harry, no.

Bruce, where's
the harm in it?

A new face would liven up
our journey, and such a face.

Can't I get it
into your iron skull

that our fortunes depend
on our getting to London

before the spoils are divided?

Bruce, one little girl.

Time enough for wenching

when we've made
our settlement with the king.

Well, you heard what
he said, sweetheart.

Who is he?

My Lord Carlton.

My name's Almsbury,

Sir Harry Almsbury
of Prince Rupert's horse.

You may have heard of us.

The battles of Marston Moor
and Raseby.

He must be very rich.

Poor as a parson's pig,
like all of us.

Sit on my knee, and I'll
tell you all about myself.

Better still,
take me to the stables.

I have to see to my horse.

The stables are close
behind the inn, sir.

You can't miss them.

I'm sure I can't, not
if you show me the way.

He will be rich
if he fought for the king.

Perhaps. Kings
have short memories.

Who cares? Myself, I prefer
the more simple pleasures in life,

such as a pretty face,

a figure molded to
a gentleman's taste,

a little walk
in the moonlight.

Your pardon, sir.
I have work to do.

Ah, food.

What is it?

Your pardon, my lord,

but the wounded gentleman—
he's asking for water.

He's fast asleep.

Perhaps he called out
in a dream.

Why did you wake me?

- Please take me to London.
- I told you, I won't.

I'll work for you— I'll wash your clothes,
clean your boots, anything.

For the last time, no!

Carlton!

Carlton,
give me some water.

How do you feel, Jack?

- My arm burns like fire.
- Let's have a look at it.

Bring the light over here.

You're a very lucky man, Jack.

A fanatic takes a shot at you,

and you've earned
yourself a pension

from our most generous
sovereign.

Now, I— I've nothing

but a couple
of old flea bites to show

for my long
and loyal service.

What's a flea bite to a king?

Although he was
no stranger to them

when he was hiding
his royal carcass in France.

Stopped bleeding.

You'll stay here till
you're fit to ride, Jack.

When you reach London,

ask for me at the Saracen's Head
near St. Sepulchre's.

There.

Thanks, Carlton.

Sleep well, Jack.

My lord. My lord, I—

No, I won't take you
with me.

But—

Why have you got such
an itch to see London?

They'll make me suffer
the rest of my life if I stay here.

They've heard me say
that it's a blessing

for England to have a Stuart
back on the throne.

I wish I could be so sure
of the blessing.

Didn't you fight for him?

I fought for Bruce Carlton.
I'm going to see the king

to collect what's due
to the same Bruce Carlton

and to the men
who fought with him.

I've always wanted
to meet a gentleman.

And now that you have,
my dear, good night.

I've had little enough sleep
since we landed on English soil.

One more question.

Well?

Why didn't you try to kiss me
as the others did?

Well, perhaps
I didn't feel like it.

What sort of gentleman
are you?

Faith, I've often been
called on to explain a kiss,

but never before
the lack of one.

Here. Let me repair
the omission.

Thank you, my lord.

Is my Lord Rossmore
here?

Sir Thomas.

His Majesty will be
pleased to see you now.

Thank you.

Lady Ann.

Sir Thomas.

How does it seem today?

We were here yesterday,
you'll recall.

Let me see. You are...

Baron Carlton,
as you well know,

and Sir Harry Almsbury.

Both of
Prince Rupert's horse.

Oh, yes, of course.

His Majesty's apologies,
gentlemen,

but he'll be unable
to grant you an audience today.

But we've been
here since—

Tomorrow?

I fear that will be impossible,
too, my lord.

The next day?

I'm afraid not,
my lord.

When?

- Next month, perhaps.
- Next month?

You'll understand that
His Majesty's calendar is very full.

More so than his memory,
I gather.

I'm certain I can't have heard
your lordship aright.

Your pardon, gentlemen.

Charles can't have
changed so quickly.

It's an old Stuart custom.

Why, Barbara.

Isn't that the girl,
um, what's her name?

Barbara Palmer.

You met her with me
in Brussels two years ago.

I remember. I must say
her attitude towards you

seems to have changed
considerably.

We parted rather abruptly.

It was one of those
misunderstandings.

Look at the wench,
will you?

She doesn't wait to be
announced or anything.

Apparently, she's found an easier
road to royal favor than we have.

You know, Bruce,
for the sake of our fortunes,

see what you can do to clear up
that misunderstanding.

I think, Bruce, we'd better
keep it to ourselves

that the king
wouldn't see us.

We had, indeed. It might have
a serious effect on our credit.

Your servant,
my lord.

Ah, there you are,
my good Gumble.

Will you join the lady,
or have you already eaten?

What lady?
Where are you taking that?

Your cousin, sir, Mistress St. Clare.
She arrived while you were out.

Dressed like a country lass.

Poor lady, having to hide from
the Roundheads all these years.

Well, strike me blind!

What are you doing here?

Where shall I
put the tray, sir?

Anywhere on the table.
What is that?

Your lordship will understand
that I have no rooms, sir.

The whole of England seems
to have come to London,

so Mistress St. Clare suggested
I put a cot in here.

Will that be all, sir?

Yes, yes. That'll be all.

Thank you, my lord.

Well... cousin?

Well, I had to say
something, my lord,

else he would never
have let me in.

Who brought you here?

I came by myself. I heard you
say where you'd be staying.

Harry, see if we can find
a man and two horses

to take her back.

Whatever you say, Bruce, but why
not give it some thought overnight?

I'll see what I can arrange.

Oh, please, Bruce.

I can't go back.

You know they'll force me
into marriage.

I never heard that a steady husband
was such a bad thing for a girl.

And for you, I think
it's almost a necessity.

I'd rather die!

Believe me, I'd rather die than live
with Bob Starling and his pigs,

keeping his house
and bearing his children

and rotting away
in that stinking little village.

You can turn me away,
but I won't go back.

I'll stay in London
no matter what happens to me.

Oh, please, Bruce.

Let me live here with you.

I'll be your servant.
I'll never ask you for anything.

You're asking for a great deal
at this very moment.

More than I'm worth?

That's a very direct
question, my dear,

and deserves
a candid answer.

I don't know by what standard
of value you measure yourself,

but it can't match the currency
in which I weigh my freedom.

I'll make no claim
on your freedom, Bruce.

That's wise of you, but I'm leaving
England soon as soon as I can.

You've just got home!

Only to get ships from the king
for a privateering venture.

Well, then, just let me
stay here till you go.

Please, Bruce?

If all I'm asking is...

just to be with you
as long as you're here,

that wouldn't be too much
of a burden on you, would it?

I'm far from regarding your
presence as a burden, my dear.

Well, I found the man
who'll do it.

It will cost
a bit of money, but—

I'll tell him
you can't afford it.

It's a great honor to have
your patronage, my lord.

Would you prefer to pay
for your purchases now

or at your later convenience?

- Later, I think.
- Bruce.

Is it worth the money?

Well, I had my doubts,
but now...

You're a beautiful woman,
my dear.

Well, wasn't I before?

Uh, no.
You were a pretty wench.

The clothes don't make
all the difference.

It's how I feel.

Good day.

We'll send the other dresses to you
as soon as they're ready, my lord.

- Thank you.
- Mistress Abbott.

Saracen's Head.

Yes, my lord.

I can't wait for Harry
to get a look at you.

Well, I can. Bruce, we haven't had
one moment alone together.

Couldn't we do without Harry
just this evening?

Spring Gardens instead.

Yes, sir.

Amber.

Amber?

- Good morrow, Harry.
- Good morrow.

I hope you'll forgive me.

I didn't wait supper
for you last night.

Oh, I wish you'd been with us.

We've been to Spring Gardens
and up the river in a boat.

And we had breakfast at dawn
at a charming little inn near Chelsea.

And Bruce has promised
to take me to the theater.

- You must come, too!
- Yes, you must.

You're extremely generous.
Both of you.

Harry, look.
There's Stanhope.

Sink me. Who's the wench
with Carlton?

I don't know,

but he shouldn't be allowed
to keep her to himself.

Almsbury, who is she?

His cousin.

Well, good luck to your
privateering plans, Carlton.

Thank you.

What's privateering?

Oh, taking treasure ships
on the high seas.

Oh. Piracy.

Not quite.
Pirates get hanged.

Privateers share their profits
with the royal treasury.

Gemini!

Buy my oranges.

Oranges.

Well, shall we sit down?

Buy my oranges.

Two households,

both alike in dignity,

in fair Verona,
where we lay our scene,

from ancient grudge
break to new mutiny,

where civil blood makes...

She's here. Alone.

From forth
the fatal loins of these two foes

a pair of star-crossed
lovers...

So that's
Mistress Palmer.

But I don't see why she's
considered so beautiful.

Don't you?

She's well enough
if you like her kind.

But you'd think His Majesty
could choose someone

more fit to be a countess.

- Countess?
- Of Castlemaine.

The dressmaker says
it may happen any day now.

Curse me,
women are wonderful!

...nought could
remove, is now...

Harry, this is my chance.

You watch for the king.

Harry, what— what's—

We'll wait outside.

What here shall miss,
our toil shall strive to mend.

Gregory, on my word...

Harry, look!

May I join you
for a moment?

Very well.

- Come on.
- What's he doing up there?

It's quite simple,
sweetheart.

Bruce wants ships
from the king,

and Palmer's the person
to get them for him.

Purely a matter
of business.

I know what sort of business
a man has with a woman like that.

The king!
It's really him!

No, sire, I do
not bite my thumb at you, sir,

but I do bite
my thumb, sire.

Ah, Stanhope.

Your Majesty.

You stay here.

- Where are you going?
- To warn Bruce, you little fool.

Bruce only said to watch.

Don't you realize what will happen
if Charles finds them in there?

Of course.
He won't get his ships.

Gregory,
remember thy swashing blows!

It's too late now.

Part, fools!

Put up your swords.

You know not what you do.

Art thou drawn
amongst these heartless hinds?

Turn thee, Benvolio,
look upon thy death.

I do but keep the peace.

Put up thy sword or manage it
to part these men with me.

What, drawn,
and talk of peace!

I hate the word, as I hate hell,
all Montagues, and thee!

Have at thee, coward!

As I hate hell,
all Montagues, and thee!

Have at thee, coward!

Of course, there's always a chance
that he might not hang you.

He might... merely have
your nose slit or boil you in oil.

Well, that's the end
of my privateering venture.

That's certain.

And of my petition to have
my estates restored.

Serves me right for ever
entrusting my fortunes

to such an arrogant devil
as you are.

You're not entirely
blameless, you know.

If you'd warned me in time—

Come in.

My Lord Carlton?

Yes.

His Majesty requests your
immediate presence at Whitehall.

I'll come at once.

- At 11:00 at night?
- Charles must be in a temper.

I'll come too, Bruce.

I may as well hang with you
as starve to death alone.

Oh, Bruce, he won't
really hang you, will he?

I doubt it, although...
Charles is inclined to be jealous.

He apparently sets great store
by our redheaded friend.

Oh, I hate her.
She's the cause of this trouble.

Don't be too modest, sweetheart.
After all, you gave her a little help.

My services,
my lord.

My services,
Sir Thomas.

Please come
with me.

I'll wait for you,
Bruce.

Come in, Carlton.

You may go, Sir Thomas.
Your cut, my dear.

My apologies for
disturbing you at this hour,

but I, uh...

You'll be pleased to hear
that in view of your many and...

valuable services
on my behalf,

I have, uh...

decided to grant your petition.

You are most
generous, sire.

Od's fish, man,
it's nothing.

And the boldness
of your venture pleases me.

Point of 5.

Good.

There are two ships in Bristol Harbor,
crown property,

which I propose to make
available for your purpose.

Your Majesty
is more than generous.

Quint.

Good.

Knowing that you are zealous
to be about this business,

I've ordered a coach
to carry you to Bristol tonight.

Tonight?

Trio.

Not good.

Yes, tonight.

Your lead, my dear.

20 and 1.

I believe that your original plan

called for a voyage
of six months' duration.

Yes, sire.

I suggest that you prolong it for
as long as the health of your crew

and the safety
of your ships will permit.

I understand.

And now, good luck
and good hunting.

I'm deeply grateful,
sire, but...

Well?

I fear I cannot avail myself
of Your Majesty's generosity.

You cannot?

I'm under obligation.

My petition was not
for myself alone,

but also for Sir Harry Almsbury
and the other gentlemen

who fought with me
on Your Majesty's behalf.

Are you making conditions, sir?

My honor makes
the conditions, sire.

Surely that would be understood
by the first gentleman of the land.

Pandering to one's honor
can be an expensive vice.

- I must take that risk, sire.
- What do they want?

Your equerry
has their petitions.

Very well.
They're granted.

Thank you, sire.

26 and 15.
That's your trick, my dear.

Bon voyage.

No, no, my dear.

Never lead
from the ace queen,

because then, you see,
the king takes the trick.

No.

Let her sleep.

Aren't you
going to tell her?

You can tell her in the morning
after I'm gone.

Don't you understand?

The wench
is in love with you.

She's in love with her own ambitions.
I'm only part of them.

You're wrong, Bruce.

You always were cold-blooded
about everything.

I'll help you pack.

Good morrow,
Amber.

Oh, good morrow.

I...

I must have fallen asleep
waiting for you last night.

We thought it best
not to wake you.

Bruce threw a blanket
over you while you slept.

Are you leaving?

Yes. For Almsbury Hall before
the king changes his mind.

Almsbury Hall? Then the king—

We found him in
a generous mood last night.

I have my estates again,
and Bruce, my dear...

Bruce.

He's gone.

Yes.

He only came back here
to fetch his baggage.

Have they taken
him to jail?

No. The king
sent him to sea.

To sea? But I
don't understand.

You can always rely on Charles
to find the devious solution.

It was bound to happen
sooner or later.

Yes?

Your horse is saddled,
Sir Harry.

Thank you.
Take my bags down.

Yes, sir.

How could he?

How could he, Harry?

Without even
saying good-bye.

Bruce hates partings.

He asked me to make you
his apologies.

And he left this for you.

There's £200 here.

Enough to pay any bills of yours
he hasn't already settled

and enough left over to keep you
until you can find some employment.

Well, I've got a long ride
ahead of me, so...

Listen, Amber, I know London,
perhaps better than I should.

The town's aswarm
with rogues and adventurers.

It's no place
for a lone woman,

especially one as young
and beautiful as you are

and with your zest for living.

Marygreen lies
close to my road,

and I'll be glad
to take you there.

No, Harry.

Oh, be sensible, Amber.

You've got a dowry here

will catch you
any farmer in England,

even a country squire
or even a knight.

A pox on your country squires.
I'll wait for him.

You surely don't expect him
to marry you, child.

When a man like Bruce marries,
it'll be for position, wealth, family.

I'll give him those things.

If he's above me now,

I'll put myself on his level—
higher if I have to.

Sweetheart, you can't just climb
from one class to another

as though they're
rungs on a ladder.

What's to stop me?

I know what
sort of world this is.

I've kept my eyes open
since I came to London.

Barbara Palmer wasn't born
countess of castlemaine, was she?

I'm younger than she is.

You said yourself I was beautiful.

I'll get the things he wants—

a title, a fortune, all of them.

I'll climb so high,

he'll have to reach up
to touch the hem of my skirt.

I still think you're
making a mistake.

I'm partly responsible
for what has happened.

I'll feel responsible
for what becomes of you.

It's a burden I don't
want on my conscience.

Go back while you
still have a chance.

Good luck.

Good morrow,
Mistress Abbott.

Good morrow,
Mistress St. Clare.

I've come to pay you
Lord Carlton's reckoning.

Ah, yes. We heard that
his lordship had put to sea.

That'll be £18.

I trust he provided
for you generously?

Oh, yes.

Yes. His lordship
was most generous.

He may be away
for some time?

For several months.

Good day, madam.

Good day.

Listen, my child,

I suppose you haven't
many friends in London.

Well, I've been here
such a short time.

Of course. I've taken a great
fancy to you, my dear.

It would give me
pleasure to help you.

- But I need no help.
- To advise you, then.

This money that
Lord Carlton left you,

you're not carrying it
about with you?

- Well...
- It isn't safe, my dear.

The city abounds
in pickpockets and cutpurses.

I'm afraid I don't know
what else to do with it.

Put it with a goldsmith
at interest.

Or better still, invest it
in some safe venture

that'll bring you a profit.

Isn't that so, Mr. Landale?

Mr. Landale is one of
our leading men of business.

Mistress Abbott makes too much
of my meager interests.

Still, people have
been kind enough

to say I have a certain
shrewdness in these matters.

Sow pennies
and reap pounds, eh?

I don't understand.

Money begets money, my dear.

This is an age of expansion.

Under the guidance of our wise
and far-seeing king,

English capital has
reached out to other lands,

other climes— to the colonies,
the Indies, to Hudson Bay.

Well, I'd prefer to
keep my money here.

But you do keep it here,
my dear child.

It's a matter of finance.

Let us say you have
£1,000, eh?

£200.

Rather a small sum,
to be sure.

Still, invested, shall we say,

in American furs
or East Indian spices,

in a few months,
it might become £1,000,

and that £1,000
in turn 10,000,

and that 10,000,
100,000.

Indebtedness to sundry,
worthy London merchants

in the sum of £86,
5 shillings, and 6 pence.

Amber St. Clare,
stand and face the court.

Have you anything to say

before the court
pronounces sentence?

Your worship,
I was swindled.

That man
and that woman there,

they are numbered, I believe,
among your creditors.

But they stole my money.

What have you to say
to the prisoner's charges?

She's a woman
of unsavory reputation

to whom, out of pity,
I advanced credit.

She has since refused
to pay me her just debts.

I, too, was deceived
by her, your worship.

It is a weakness, I know,

but we are all loath
to see the evil

that lies behind a pretty face.

You told me
you were a merchant!

Well, you're not.

You're no better
than a common thief!

Oh, order there.

You will address the court,
if you please.

Your worship,
if you'll but send word

to my Lord Carlton—

Oh? Where is he?

At sea.

At sea?

Well, then to
Sir Harry Almsbury

at Almsbury Hall.

Oh, and who would pay
the costs of such a message?

Committed to Newgate Prison

until such time
as the indebtedness is dispelled.

Next.

But, your worship,
I'll never be able to pay my debt...

- Bailiff.
- ...if I'm in prison!

Amber. Amber, the blanket.

I've only had it 10 minutes.
Wait your turn.

It's not for me. It's for Marge.
Her time's come.

Here.

Thank thee. We must
try to keep her warm.

Isn't there someplace
she can be taken to?

She ought to have a midwife.

Such things are only available
to prisoners with money.

She was hoping to carry
that baby another month yet.

Soon as it's born,
they'll hang her.

What was her crime?

She stole a piece of cloth
from a mercer's shop, Marge did.

Nan. Come along, Nan.
Christmas cheer in the taproom.

Take the lass along, too.

Amber, we're in luck.
Now you'll meet quality.

What sort of quality
could there be in this place?

Good enough
for your ladyship.

Mind who you're
talking to.

She owes near £100.

Well, come on.

Swindler! Thief!

Hey, Deadeye,
come here.

There they are.

Your servant,
ladies.

Will you step in here

where the gentlemen can
have a look at you?

Here's a likely wench.

Give me a kiss,
sweetheart.

Let me go.

Gentlemen.

Let them go.

Gentlemen!

Thank you.

Jack Mallard, madam,
at your service.

Black Jack.
The highwayman.

Your servant, sir.

May I offer you
a glass of wine?

Deadeye?

At your service, sir.

A bottle of your best Madeira
at that table over there.

Go on, Amber.

I'll find my own company.

Madam.

To our host—

Charles Stuart.

May God preserve him
and our beloved land.

Finest music in the world,
our English carols.

They would sound
more pleasant out there

than they do in here.

Faith, so they would.

I take it you have a mind
to leave the place?

Don't worry.

They expect a certain amount
of impatience in their guests.

You know...

I could find use for a lass
of quality on the outside.

In my profession,
you understand.

That's fine talk,
Master Mallard,

but we're neither of us
on the outside, nor likely to be.

Speak for yourself, madam.

I'm spending the winter season here,
you might say,

but when the roads
open up again in the spring,

Jack Mallard will be back
at his old trade.

You'd break out?

I have friends.

Before my trial comes up,

I'll have a passport,

and whoever happens to be keeping
company with me at the time

will get her passport
paid for along with mine.

A wench like you wasn't
born to rot in prison.

What would you
expect of me?

That you'd be true to me
and to the trade I teach you.

Is it a bargain?

There's one thing
I'd have to be sure of first.

Name it.

That you'd take care of me
no matter what happens.

Prison is so unhealthy,

I might not be able
to work right away.

I might need a rest.

Do not worry about that.

You look robust enough to me.

I promise I'll take care of you.
Are we agreed?

All you that in
the condemned hole do lie,

prepare you,
for tomorrow you shall die.

And when St. Sepulchre's
bell tomorrow tolls,

the Lord have mercy
on your souls.

Past 12:00 on
a cold winter's night,

and a merry Christmas
to all.

What does it mean?

It means that
tomorrow at sunrise,

Sam Russell
and three other brave lads

shake hands with Jack Ketch
at Tyburn Tree.

Oh, well, it's only fair
to warn you.

See this?

Last time they branded me
on the thumb.

This time...

if I'm so careless
as to wait here for my trial...

I'll be dancing on air.

'Tis only the nature of things.

Some die in battle,
some in bed.

The highwayman?

Falling off a platform
while in conversation with a parson.

As long as you know
beforehand.

Maybe it's only fair
to warn you, too.

I'm going to have a child.

That's why I took up your bargain.

It mustn't be born here.

Sink me,
but you're a sly wench.

Well, it only proves that
you'll be worth getting free.

Merry Christmas.

Hello.
Welcome home.

Blueskin.

Hi.

Oh, Jimmy.

It's good to have you back.

Mother Red Cap's
been expecting you.

What's the meaning of this?

Well, Jack?

I thought we could
find a use for her.

The time's close at hand.
Who'll pay her expenses?

She'll earn them back.
I'll stand bond for that.

Your bond had more meaning

before they burned you
on the thumb.

I'm thinking it's wiser

if we keep you off
the highways for a while.

There's less danger working
the streets here in London.

Maybe you can bring back
some of the purses

that the city fops
carry for their gaming.

Here are your pistols.

You got them back
from the watch!

It cost me £4, 7 and 6
in garnishes.

We'll not worry about
a little sum like that.

You also owe me £100
for arranging your escape,

and I don't like strangers
in my house.

You can't turn her out now.

I can, and I would.

She may bring us profit eventually.

She's pretty, and she's flash.

That's all I can say for her.

Take her up to the back room.

Follow me, Jeffrey.
My coachman knows the way.

Would it be proper for you
to take me home?

Proper, ma'am?

T'would be an unpardonable sin
if I didn't.

My carriage
is down the street.

Oh, but it's just a short walk
through the alleyway here.

Through the...

As you prefer, sweetheart.

It's a great deal more comfortable
in my carriage.

I'm sure you'd like that better.

It's only a step more—

- I assure you—
- Your pardon, sir.

Yes?

Good work, Amber.

You picked a fat one.

Here they come.

Stop in the king's name!

Run! Run for your life!

Did you get the wench, Captain?

The wench!
Don't let her escape!

There she is!

Halt!

This is the winning throw—
16!

You're too lucky.

Your cast, Morgan.

No. I've lost
my limit for tonight,

and I'll thank you gentlemen
to take your leave.

It's late, and the king
reviews our troop tomorrow.

Od's blood,
if one doesn't pity

the poor soldier
in time of peace.

One more round.

No.

Well...

Oh, please, sir.

You're not angry because
I took refuge in your house?

Refuge, madam?

Yes. I was returning from the tavern
with a gentleman.

He tried to force
his attentions on me,

but I eluded him and came through
your door which was open.

And where's
the scoundrel now?

He was just outside
a moment ago.

I was waiting
for him to leave.

If you wish him taught
a lesson in manners,

- I'm at your service.
- Oh, no, no.

Please! He's a very
dangerous man.

A notorious duelist.

I'm no stranger
to swordplay myself.

Open up there!

- Who's there?
- The watch.

Beg pardon for disturbing you,
Captain Morgan.

What can I do for you?

We're looking for a wench, sir.

One of the band of footpads
who cut a gentleman's purse

- up the alley here.
- I see.

What makes you think
she's here?

She can't be far away.
We were close behind her.

She must've sneaked
into a house along here.

- If I see her, I'll let you know.
- Thank you, sir.

Curse me if I didn't
believe your tale.

What am I to do with you?

You know what will happen
if you give me up.

They'll put a rope
around my neck and hang me.

It's too pretty a neck
for a rope, that's certain.

But, sweetheart, I'm an officer
of His Majesty's guards

and sworn to uphold his laws.

All I ask is that you
don't give me up.

Then, when the watch
is gone, I'll leave,

and you'll never
see me again.

Where will you go?

I don't know.

You have no home?

Only the robbers' den
at Whitefriars,

and there's a horrible
woman there

who has me in debt.

She'll never let me go
as long as I live.

This is the truth now?

Oh, yes.
Oh, please believe me.

- Morgan?
- Coming.

Please help me.

There's one possibility
that occurs to me,

if you're willing
to put yourself in my hands

and do exactly as I say.

I'll do anything you say.
Anything.

Morgan!

- Oh, there you are.
- Good night, Morgan.

Good night.
Where have you been?

Drowning your sorrows
in the pantry, I'll wager.

Good night to you,
gentlemen.

Tomorrow night
at my house?

By all means.
Good night.

Lieutenant Ivers.

Come in.

Well, as I so aptly remarked,

pity the poor soldier
in time of peace.

This is Mr. Ivers.
Mistress...

- St. Clare.
- Mistress St. Clare.

- My services, madam.
- My services, sir.

Mr. Ivers is a close friend
of Mr. Killigrew

of the Theater Royal.

An intimate friend,
you might say.

He's rejected six
of my plays.

Mistress St. Clare is anxious to
obtain employment as an actress.

Do you think you could use
your influence with Killigrew to help her?

I should think Mistress St. Clare's
own influence

would prove far
more persuasive than mine,

but I'll be happy
to arrange an introduction.

- Good.
- Good night, madam.

Good night, sir.

- Good night.
- Good night, Ivers.

But I don't understand.

How can I hide at the theater
right out in public?

The king has made all actors
wards of the crown.

They're such a rowdy lot,
it's the only way

he could insure himself
uninterrupted entertainment.

I still can't see how—

Wards of the crown
are immune from arrest.

If Killigrew's pleased with you,

and I don't see how
he can be otherwise,

you'll be safe under
the protection of the king.

Amber.

Amber.

Yes, Mr. Killigrew?

The Earl of Radcliffe
wishes to meet you.

Mistress St. Clare.

My lord.

I would be greatly favored

by your company at supper
this evening, ma'am.

You're very kind, my lord,
but I'm already engaged.

Surely his lordship's
invitation takes precedent.

Another night
will do as well.

Tomorrow?

I deeply regret I shall be
unable to accommodate you.

Let me speak to her
alone, my lord.

She's rather new here
and doesn't—

No, no. I prefer the illusion
of a voluntary decision.

May I hope that
at some future time

circumstances will permit
other different responses?

Well, it's hard to predict
one's circumstances, sir,

but— well, knowing the weakness
of my own nature,

I shall probably be influenced

by any further proofs
of your lordship's interest.

Delightful,
Mistress St. Clare.

Thank you, my lord.

Amber, there's
a gentleman to see you.

Harry!

So it really is you.

Amber.

What—

They're only looking for
some new scandal to spread.

That's exactly
what I fear.

My wife is a great believer
in scandal.

You're married now?

I even have a daughter.

Oh, how wonderful, Harry.

But what about you, Amber?

About me?

Yes. Has anything like that
happened to you?

Well, no.
I can't really say that.

I—

Nan!

Sir Harry is one of
my dearest friends.

Well, I didn't know, mum.

I was only—

Besides, you're
a lady's maid now.

That's what I got you
out of Newgate for.

Newgate? At least you've increased
your knowledge of London.

I've seen a few things.

What about Bruce, Harry?
Have you heard anything?

He's taken some fine prizes
on the Spanish Main

and put into Jamaica for repairs.

He might be in England anytime,
there's no saying.

Are you still—

I told you I'd wait for him.

Amber!

Rex, darling, this is
Sir Harry Almsbury.

Captain Morgan.

You're calling
on someone here, Sir Harry?

Why, yes.
On Mistress St. Clare.

I saw her in the play.

Indeed, sir.

Rex, you don't understand.
Sir Harry's my uncle.

That's right, Captain.
Her mother's brother.

Younger brother,
if I may be permitted to say so.

He didn't know
I was in the theater.

Now, that's the truth—
I mean, that's the truth.

I was sitting out there
watching the play,

when suddenly
I said to myself,

"Isn't that little Amber?"

She used to be very little.

Well, my friends will be
waiting for me, Captain.

I'll tell the family
you're well taken care of.

You are well taken care of?

Oh, yes, yes,
Sir Harry.

They'll be glad to know.

Cousin Bruce and all.

Your servant,
Captain Morgan.

Your servant, sir.

You didn't tell me
you had an uncle.

Oh, didn't I?
Come along and talk to me

while I change,
darling, won't you?

I'll have supper in
a few minutes, my lady.

Thank you, Nan.

Let me take
your sword, dear.

No, I can't stay for supper.

I have to go to Wales
tonight on a mission.

- Oh, Rex, will it be a long one?
- Several weeks, I fear.

You'll miss my biggest part.

I not only have lines
to say in the new play,

but Killigrew's letting
me speak the epilogue.

I'll miss you far more
than I will your performance.

You know how I regard
your profession as only

a passing necessity
till your danger's over.

I'll miss you, too, Rex.

Will you let me have some
money for while you're gone?

- Money?
- £5.00 should be plenty.

But I gave you £5.00
two weeks ago, Amber—

I know I'm not
very prudent,

but you do like me
to look pretty.

Not while I'm away.

Amber...

you know my feelings
towards you.

At first, I thought of you as
a pleasant companion for a time.

Well, haven't I been?

So much so that
I never want to lose you.

I want you to marry me, Amber.

Marry you?

Yes. Why not?

No, I can't.
It's impossible.

Because there's someone else?

Is there? Tell me.

Have you ever seen me
with anyone else?

No, I haven't.

And take care
that I don't, Amber.

I warn you for his sake.

There's no one else, Rex.

Then say you will.

I've got to leave now,
I'm late already.

Give me your promise
before I go.

Give me the £5.00?

Of course, darling.

I merely wanted
to be sure that

you weren't being
careless, that's all.

You do love me,
don't you, Amber?

You know what these
last months have been like.

Do you think
I'm that good an actress?

I'll think of you every moment
of my journey.

Nan? Nan?

Here it is,

the last of what I
owe Mother Red Cap.

- Now she'll let me have the baby.
- Well, that's fine.

You take it to her first thing
in the morning.

And then we'll find a wonderful place
in the country for little Bruce.

Are you planning
to marry Captain Morgan?

Of course not. I'm in love
with Bruce's father.

Oh, I know it, and
you know it, most of the time.

But the captain
doesn't know it.

I never knew anyone
could lead a man on

the way you can, Amber.

Did you ever think
how to turn one loose?

Nan.

And since no barrier now remains,

we'll post the banns at once

and have them married
within the fortnight.

What say you to that,
Sir Brian?

'Tis all I ever wanted.

And you, my dear niece.

Shall he not be rewarded
with your love and your fortune?

Nay. Never mind.

I'm sure you will agree

we need no verbal token
of maidenly assent.

Her eyes have spoken.

Who'll buy
my oranges?

Though sober minds
may find our play too light,

your author and your players

claim the right to serve
no moral purpose by their art,

but gaily treat
with matters of the heart.

And should some critic
for this reason frown,

why, we'll appeal
the question to the crown.

Oh, Amber,
you were beautiful.

What an end!

You looked
so wonderful!

Uh, Mistress St. Clare?

Madam is invited
to an informal supper

as soon as she
has changed her costume.

I'll await your
convenience outside.

I told you she's
going to the palace!

The palace!

Oh! Whatever will I wear?

I don't know.

Amber.

Oh, Harry,
I can't stop now.

I've got to change.

Well, in that case,
I won't detain you, but...

Bruce?

Sir Thomas.

Sir Harry.

Mistress St. Clare asks me
to present her compliments.

She will be unable to
accept your invitation.

But doesn't
the wench understand?

It's not my invitation.

She understands.

But she was so overcome
by the honor

that she's in no condition
to respond to it.

- I can wait.
- I'm afraid not.

At this very moment,
she's running a high fever.

Some other time,
perhaps.

And please extend
to His Majesty

my best wishes
as to his own well-being.

You haven't told me,
Bruce.

Did you miss me?

More than I expected to.

I worried about you, too.

And what's this great
mystery that awaits us?

You'll see.

Wait here. Please.

Your son, my lord.

Well, our son's
a freebooter.

Very well.
I'm ready to pay ransom.

What'll it be?

Indian chief.

Indian chief?
Very well.

I'll tell you a story
about my great friend,

the red Indian chief
Mattacumsett.

Do you know what
that means, Mattacumsett?

What?

That means big chief
who's not afraid of the dark.

- Are you afraid of the dark?
- No.

Good. Then I'll bring you
a tomahawk my very next voyage.

Bruce, why do you fill his head
with tales of wild savages?

Mattacumsett's no savage.

By their standards,
he's a gentleman.

Far more of one than
most of our London courtiers.

Come, darling. Mrs. Chiverton's
waiting to put you to bed.

Give Mother a kiss.

Sleep well. In the morning,
we'll look for birds' nests.

Good night,
my angel.

I declare, I'm getting
jealous of you two.

After all, he's my first son.

Our son.

Isn't it wonderful,
Bruce?

Yes, I've enjoyed
this day here.

More than I can say.

Have you, darling?

Wouldn't be
such a bad life.

Living on a farm...

tilling a few acres...

raising a family.

And that supper
we had tonight.

I'd no idea you'd such a way
with mutton and greens.

Darling, you forget
I was brought up on a farm.

I couldn't forget it tonight.

You haven't changed so much

from the girl I met
in Marygreen after all.

But, Bruce,
you know I've changed.

I'm learning to read,
and I don't say "Gemini" anymore.

And I can hold my own with
any of your Whitehall ladies.

I daresay you can.

Darling, I've been making
such wonderful plans.

I'll leave the theater,

and we'll take a house
in London for the season.

One of those big houses
with a lawn that stretches

all the way down to the river.

And we'll invite the whole court
to our entertainments,

all except Castlemaine,
of course.

They say the king
is tiring of her anyway.

Oh, please, Bruce.

But, sweetheart,
I'm going back to sea.

You're going to be
a pirate all your life?

I have no stomach
for life at court.

What's so fine
about life at sea?

It's clean,
for one thing.

What would you do
if I hid myself on your ship?

Clap you in irons.

Besides, what would
Captain Morgan say?

I told you,
he means nothing to me.

That's not what I heard.

Well, he helped me
when I had some debts to pay.

And I suppose he knows

you're here
in the country with me.

Why should I have to run to him
with all my comings and goings?

Please believe me, Bruce.

There's no one but you.

There never has been,
and there never will be.

I've never asked you
if there was.

But I want you to know.

Well, Amber.

It's early yet, Bruce.

Please?

Very well.

I don't want to waste
one moment of this.

These are the things
I'll remember when you're gone.

Walking with you,

feeling your hand on my arm,

the feeling of you being close.

Will you remember, too?

It'll be hard
leaving you and our son.

Oh, Bruce, it isn't too late
to change your plans.

After all, we don't have
to live in London.

We could find a place
in the country.

Even a farm if you'd like,
if only you'd stay.

My Lord Carlton?

At your service, sir.

My lord realizes, of course,
that he's done me an injury

which one gentleman
may not accept from another.

Rex!

If I have, sir,
'twas not by intention.

My friends will call on you
at your earliest convenience

to arrange a meeting.

Your servant, my lord.

I'm at your service,
Captain, of course.

But surely there can be no harm
in discussing our differences.

The lady's an old friend of mine,

I intended no violence to your honor
in paying my respects to her.

Is it your custom to pay
your respects to a lady

promised in marriage
to another gentleman?

I... I didn't—

Your servant, sir.

Rex!

Rex!

Let him go.

You fool. The harm's done.

You have to fight him?

Yes. Pretty, isn't it?

Even if he wins, he'll have lost
what he's fighting for.

Do you think I'm worried
about what happens to him?

You should be.

He was telling the truth,
wasn't he?

You did promise to marry him.

I promised nothing.

If he chose
to believe that—

Perhaps I'm just as much
to blame as you are.

Between us, we've destroyed
something very fine and decent.

If he lives through this,
go back to him,

even if you have to crawl
on your knees to do it.

I'll do my best
to dissuade him.

- Ready?
- Ready.

- Ready?
- Ready.

Gentlemen?

Ready.

Ready.

On your guard,
gentlemen.

May I suggest, Captain,
that we consider this matter settled

when blood has been drawn?

The matter, my lord,
will be settled

when one of us is dead.

Amber.

Harry, stop it.
He'll be killed.

Go back.

No.

He's wounded!

Don't move.

Surgeon.

Let this satisfy
your honor, Captain.

Take your sword, sir.

Bruce.

Bruce, you're hurt.

There's a man over there
who's dying.

Go to him.

Thank you, Surgeon.

My lord.

Bruce.

In heaven's name, Amber,

haven't we caused
enough unhappiness?

A nameless child
and now a dead man.

May God forgive us both
for our sins.

Pray come in, my lord.

I trust I find you in good health,
Mistress St. Clare.

Thank you, my lord.

As it happens, I've been
suffering from the vapors.

The shock of
the recent tragedy

which befell your
betrothed, no doubt.

I fear so.

May I offer you my sincere
condolences, madam?

It was for that reason I called.

I'm grateful, my lord.

I am no stranger
to sorrow myself.

I lost my dear countess in Italy
less than two years ago.

Oh, how dreadful.

What was the cause
of her death?

A mysterious malady
which proved incurable.

How sad.

Sad, indeed.

We were well-suited
to each other.

She appreciated the luxuries
I was able to offer her,

and I appreciated her beauty,
which was exceptional.

But my grief
was unassuageable.

Un...

Inconsolable.

Oh. Yes.

Mine, too.

My heart goes out
to you, madam.

I trust that time will exert
a healing influence,

as it has in my case.

Thank you, my lord.

At which time I shall
give myself the pleasure

of calling on you again.

What do you think, Nan?

The old devil
wants to marry me!

Oh, Amber!

You'll be Countess of Radcliffe!

Yes...

but I'd like to know
how his first wife died.

It's a lovely day.

It is, indeed.

And permit me to add, madam,
that its splendor is outshone

only by the radiance
of your person

and the felicity
of the occasion.

Congratulations.

Uh, congratulations,
Radcliffe.

Redmond, my dear friend.
Your ladyship.

Such a beautiful
ceremony.

The poor dear bishop
hasn't spoken so distinctly

since his last attack.

And what
a notable company.

We haven't seen the like
of it hereabouts for years.

Perhaps we can thank
the plague in London for that.

I hear there's not a man or woman
of gentle birth left in the city.

Oh, don't speak about it,
my lord, please.

I simply can't bear—

Now, Constance.

I know, I know
all the arguments

about how overcrowded
the city is.

But I still can't
help feeling sorry

for the poor creatures,
dying like flies.

Your pardon, my lady.
Gentlemen.

Gorgeous creature.

Extraordinary.

Found her in the theater,
I'm told.

Oh, my dear.

How can you repeat
that outrageous story?

His lordship will think
we believe it.

Do not distress yourself,
Lady Redmond.

It is quite true.

My wife was compelled
by the exigencies of fortune

to exhibit herself
on the public stage,

but I have chosen to consider
her past life a closed book,

and to devote myself,

as perhaps the foremost
of my marital obligations,

to her complete re-education.

- Your ladyship.
- Thank you.

Redmond.

Ah. Thank you.

Harry.

My congratulations,
your ladyship.

I owe you a debt of gratitude.

You've restored my shattered faith
in gambling at long odds.

Oh, Harry, stop it.

You're the only person
around here

who doesn't talk like something
out of the old court.

And look like it.

Your husband was a friend
of my father's, you know.

Well, if he'd been any younger,
he'd never have married me.

If he'd been any older,
he couldn't have.

Well, you got what you wanted—
money and a title.

A better one than Bruce's.

What do you think, Harry?

Shouldn't a baron be satisfied
with a countess?

He might prefer one
unencumbered by a husband.

Oh, he'll be no problem.

Our marriage is
simply an arrangement.

He wanted a young wife,
I wanted a title.

Besides,
he can't live forever.

He's making a very
impressive attempt at it.

Do you expect Bruce
to see your arrangement

the same way that you do?

Everything I've ever done
has been for Bruce.

I hope he appreciates
this last gesture of yours.

You'll have a chance
to find out shortly.

I saw him in London
before I left last night.

In London?

Yes. He's having trouble
getting his cargo unloaded.

All the people
that haven't left the city

have shut themselves up
in their houses against the plague.

Where is his ship?

St. Paul's Wharf.
What can you possibly—

Oh, Harry, do me
a favor, will you?

Tell my husband that
I was called away suddenly.

Make up some excuse,
you know,

one that will sound reasonable?

Reasonable?

Amber!

No Londra, signora.

I no Londra.
C'é la pesta, Londra

What about you? Will you
drive me for £5.00? 10?

I'll not cross
the Thames for £100,

not while the sickness lasts,
my lady.

But Amber's always been
devoted to her grandmother.

The news may have
unsettled her wits.

Galeazzo!

Che la signora vole va
andare a Londra.

Imbecille!

Stop!

Stop there!

But I must go to the docks.

Order of the lord mayor.

You can try that way.
You might get through.

Bruce!

What the devil
are you doing here?

I heard you'd landed.

Don't you know it's dangerous?

We've had three cases
of the plague on my ship.

Oh, Bruce,
just to see you again...

What is it? Are you ill?

No. We've been working
night and day to unload

and get out of this pesthole.

We're almost finished.

You need some rest
and something to eat.

My carriage is down there.

Bruce, please, darling.

Mr. Ross!

Aye, my lord?

Carry on.

Let me out here.

Can't take any—
any chances.

It might be...
might be...

No, don't say that, darling.
It's only the vapors.

Guard!

Guard, please.

Stand clear.

I must get him inside.

Here. I'll give you £10
if you let us go in that house.

Drop it.

Don't touch me.

Don't.

Don't, Amber.

No, Bruce.

Go away, Amber.

Go away while you can.

Well?

I'm the nurse, dearie.

Mrs. Spong.

You were supposed
to come here yesterday.

My last was
a slow one to die.

Got the plague boil,
has he?

Well, that's the worst part
of the sickness,

but they never live at all
if they don't have one.

Is it coming
to a head?

Well, that's hard
to say, dearie.

Sometimes they get fits
when it does.

Then it's easy to tell.

We'll take a look at it
tomorrow morning,

and then we'll cut it maybe.

No sense worrying
too much about him.

The way he looks,
he'll die whatever we do.

He's not going to die.
He mustn't.

Like to make a wager, dearie?

Twice my pay
against none at all?

No, don't touch him.

I'll see to him.

There are some dirty things
in the kitchen.

Amber!

Mrs. Spong!

Mrs. Spong!

Bring out your dead!

Guard! Guard!

What do you want?

In there.

Oh, very well.

Here you are!

Where is it?

On the floor.

Bruce! Bruce, darling, what is it?
What is the matter?

Here, let me help you.

Hurry, Amber, hurry.

I can't do it, Bruce.

I can't do it.

You must, Amber. Hurry.

Darling?

Darling.

Bruce.

Bruce.

Oh, darling, you're—

Oh, Bruce!

I must look
a perfect horror.

Oh, let me go
and dress my hair and—

The same Amber.

Don't go.

Stay.

Stay just as you are.

Ho!

Ecco, signore.

Questa la casa.

No undate!

La pasta!

My Lord Carlton?

Yes?

I am the Earl of Radcliffe.

Where is she?

Where is who, my lord?

Do you refer
to Mistress St. Clare?

I refer to my wife.

She has been taking
care of you here.

It has cost me considerable time
and money to find you.

Amber is your wife?

Is she here?

Not at the moment.
She's gone to buy food.

Perhaps you'd best sit down
and consider this slowly.

Will you have some wine?

No, thank you.

I will, if you don't mind.

You must understand that
this information is so startling

that I can't adapt myself
to it easily.

May I inquire into the nature
of your present intentions?

They are simple.
I have come to fetch the countess.

Do you propose to prevent me?

I see no way
in which I can do so

that is either
honorable or practical.

I'm glad to hear that.

I used to be proud
of my swordsmanship,

but... I'm rather old
for dueling now.

I presume I owe you
some sort of explanation.

I require none

about the past.

But I do confess a certain curiosity
regarding your... future plans.

They are forming in my mind
at this moment.

I've long had the idea
of settling in Virginia.

Does your lordship consider
that I look fit enough to travel?

Beyond a doubt, my lord.

In that case,

may I say with sincerity
and humility

that you are an extremely
fortunate man?

And since I owe her ladyship

a debt far greater than
I can ever hope to repay,

would it be presumptuous to ask you
to give her my warmest regards

and best wishes
for her happiness?

I shall convey them to her,

together with your regret
that you will never meet again.

You look quite domestic
in these surroundings, madam.

Perhaps a few months of solitude
at Radcliffe Manor

will teach you
all the wifely virtues.

Where is Bruce?

What have you done to him?

He has gone...

and quite of his own accord.

Are you ready,
madam?

The Marquis of Boustard,

the Lady Anne Somerset.

The Earl and Countess
of Radcliffee.

Sir Thomas
and Lady Berkeley.

Curse me
for a Roundhead dog.

For once,
the truth outdoes the rumor.

Why, it's that actress
what's-her-name.

The king isn't here.

A pity, madam,

but doubtless we shall pay
our respects again next year.

Perhaps you can
be presented then.

Next year? But they have a ball
like this every week.

I consider an annual visit

more than enough to suit
my taste for the present court.

I don't think
we shall remain

in London much
longer this year.

But—

It has, shall we say, too exhilarating
an effect upon your ladyship.

Ah, we have friends here.

Delightful to see you both.

We've been feeling
frightfully out of place here

among all these young people.

Oh, no offense, my dear.

We've come to look on you
as one of us, you know.

Yes, I've noticed.

Yes. Good idea to sit down,
don't you think?

Find a quiet corner somewhere.

Splendid idea.

I want to tell her ladyship

all about our charity work
in the country.

My lord, if you're not dancing
with the countess, may I?

You are under
a misconception, sir.

I am quite sure we have
never been introduced.

It'll take Charles himself
to pry her loose.

Pity he's not fishing
another stream tonight.

He may not know
what's running in home waters.

Your Majesty.

But, Charles,

you're not even dressed yet.

I've been firefighting
all afternoon down at the docks.

I'd have made a better
bargain for this throne

if I'd realized how much
they expect of a king.

You bring it on yourself, Charles.

No one forces you
to rush out of the palace,

bucket in hand, every time
some little blaze is reported.

It's more than a little
blaze this time.

It was still spreading
when I left.

The ball's already begun.

Shall I have someone
fetch your coat in here?

No. The queen's
waiting for me.

Queen? You're not
taking her to the ball, are you?

Yes. I trust you've provided
yourself with a suitable partner.

Perhaps we shall have a dance
towards the end of the evening.

I'm not going.

I'm not going if you insist on bringing
that Portuguese scarecrow.

I had to send poor Fleurette
back to the country yesterday.

Oh, the one
with the fluffy ears?

She was the prettiest
of the lot.

Yes, but even her beauty
was small recompense

for the trouble she gave me.

Come, children.

Their most gracious majesties,
the king and queen.

Madam, you are making
a spectacle of yourself.

I don't care.

This is the first chance I've had
in a year to enjoy myself.

Uh, a report
on the, uh, fire, sire.

Well, perhaps my guests
might be interested.

It's been such a dull season.

My lords...

ladies and gentlemen.

We have just received word

that the fire, fanned
by a strong east wind,

has reached Blackfriars.

St. Paul's is already aflame,

and so is the new exchange.

Um... who's that
with old Radcliffee?

His wife, sire.

With your permission, madam.

Your Majesty may
remember the occasion

when we first met...

Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Yes, yes.

Your Majesty.

I've changed
my mind, sire.

Your mind is rather
like your wardrobe, madam,

many changes and no surprises.

It was most considerate of you,
my lord, to marry a beautiful woman.

You are very kind, sire.

We're all tired of looking
at the same faces.

And now if you'll
permit me, my lord.

No gesture of loyalty
touches me so much

as a husband's generosity.

It's generous of Your Majesty
to notice me.

It's not the first time,
you'll recall.

I didn't think you would.

I do not often get refusals
to my invitations.

I was taken with
sudden illness that night.

So I was told, and I wondered
what his name was.

Once spurned, the man
is hesitant to try again

without some foreknowledge
of her response.

Well, it's difficult
for a woman to know

just where her first duty lies...

to her husband
or her sovereign.

Well, I try to be
a tolerant monarch,

and I always leave that decision
up to the individual.

My thanks, my lord.

Perhaps it would be diverting
on your first visit to Whitehall

to stay for supper with us.

Oh, Your Majesty is very kind.

I—

Your lordship, too, of course,

unless you would find
the late hour tiring.

I fear that is the case, sire.
You must forgive us.

Well, then let the countess stay.

You may be sure that she will
have a proper escort home.

Would you like that, madam?

Oh, yes, Your Majesty.

Milady is carried away
by Your Majesty's kindness,

but we are still in the first year
of our marriage

and make it a rule
never to be separated,

even for an hour.

We will go home together...
with Your Majesty's permission.

If I may disagree with you, sir,

it hardly seems fitting
to allow our private customs

to interfere with
the desires of the king.

Your devotion is
most gratifying, madam,

and while my suggestion
is in no sense a command—

In that case, sire,
we will take our leave now.

The news of the fire
has given me some alarm

since Radcliffee House
is, unfortunately,

much nearer to the endangered
area than Whitehall.

Sire. May I have permission to present
to Your Most Gracious Majesty

my ladies Elizabeth...

and Rosemary Seymour.

I hope you have
a good night's rest, madam.

Thank you, my lord.

Amber, I didn't expect
you home so early.

I saw little Bruce.

He's well and happy,
but lonely, too.

He hopes you'll go
and see him soon.

Nan, watch his lordship's room.

As soon as his lights are out,

call me a hackney coach
to the corner.

I'm going back to the palace.

- Oh, Amber, you shouldn't.
- Well, why not?

Why, he'll find out.

Suppose he does.
What can he do?

Kill us all, that's what.
He's a devil.

Stop jabbering
and do as I say.

Who's there?

Nan!

Nan!

Nan!

Quickly! Quickly!

Next wagon!

Next wagon!

You bumbling lugs,
be more careful!

Galeazzo! Galeazzo!

Si, signore.

Where did you find
these clumsy fools?

I'm sorry, Excellence,

but these are the best people
I could find.

These people are ruining
all my treasures.

But, signore,
they're trying very hard.

Begging your pardon,
your lordship,

but my lady's
upstairs alone.

Mind your own affairs.

Get your clothing.

Where are we going?

To the country.

This time for good.

I see now
it may be a lifelong task

to teach you the deference
due to your lord and husband.

Husband?

Do you take
that mummery seriously?

We made a bargain,

and, believe me, it's cost me
more than it has you.

However that may be, you
are the Countess of Radcliffe.

You share
my name and my honor.

There's no part of our bargain

that I should submit
to humiliation and indignity.

I don't know
what you're talking about.

Perhaps the emotion
is foreign to you.

It is a matter of pride.

Pride?

Who would expect pride in you?

I should have thought
it had dried up years ago,

together with the rest of you.

I am your husband, madam,

and will be spoken to
with respect.

I'll show you respect,

the only kind of respect
you understand.

Get out of here. Get out!

You filthy...

The fire.

Yes. The fire.

The flame,
at least, is clean.

No!

You've made your choice,
madam.

Galeazzo!

No! Galeazzo!

You're mad!

No! No!

Amber!
Amber, come quick!

Non, non, non, non. Merci.

C'est parfait,
Monsieur Louis.

Oh, Sir Robert.

You sent me a present
yesterday, didn't you?

This bracelet, I believe.

Just a trifle one of my ancestors
brought back from the Crusades.

And what is it that you
seek from His Majesty?

I seek nothing, my lady,
that is, for myself,

but my youngest brother
is getting married,

and there's a post
at the admiralty—

Oh, good morrow, darling.

My services, madam.

Oh, Bruce.
Bruce, my darling.

Darling.
How is my angel today?

Gentlemen.

- My lord.
- My lord.

Upon my word, I've never
seen such a pretty child.

Are you going
for your walk, Bruce?

Will you go with us today?
Please, Mother.

Oh, darling, that's
a very gallant invitation,

but I'm already bespoken
to another gentleman.

Yes, Mother.

You'll always be my cavalier,
though, won't you, darling?

Yes, Mother.

Remember, Nan, he's not to play
with any of the other children

unless you know
their name and rank.

Yes, my lady. The last boy
who blacked his eye was a duke.

Good morrow, Bruce.

Good morrow, sire.

Od's fish, none of my children

have the royal manners
that you display,

but, then,
neither did their mothers.

Are you ready,
my dear?

As always, sire.
Whenever you are.

A slight exaggeration, madam,
but then I've always felt

that the traditional
prerogatives of a king

should be subordinate to
those of a beautiful woman.

There, now,
children, children.

What distressing behavior.

I fear they're set
a bad example

by the gentlemen
of our court.

It was a mild jest,
I'll admit,

but at least it might
warrant a smile.

Od's fish, if it isn't
that rascal Carlton.

And who's the wench
with him?

Sir Thomas,
bring them here.

My Lord Carlton,
His Majesty desires your presence.

Welcome back to England,
Carlton.

Your Majesty.

Well, won't you present
the young lady?

Yes, sire.

I have the honor
to present my wife.

My services, madam.
My congratulations to you, Carlton.

I had no word
of your marriage.

Well, that's hardly
strange, sire.

We were married only
last year in Virginia.

Virginia. If my Lady Carlton
is a fair sample

of what we're breeding
across the seas,

I must learn to pay more attention
to colonial affairs.

My Lady Radcliffe,
my Lord and Lady Carlton.

My Lady Radcliffe and I
are old friends.

Indeed. What brings you
back home, Carlton?

Business and pleasure, sire.

We've settled in Virginia,

and I'm disposing
of my properties here.

Also, this is Lady Carlton's
first glimpse of London.

That should be almost
as notable an event

as London's first glimpse
of Lady Carlton.

I trust your visit will be long enough
so that we may have other glimpses.

Your Majesty's kindness
would be overwhelming

had I not been prepared
for it by all accounts.

You hear that? They must be rogues
who say America's a barbarous land.

Yes, sire.

My Lady Carlton
is a complete surprise.

You will hear
from us, my lord.

My dear.

Come, children.

- Is there no answer yet?
- No.

A servant took the message,
like the others.

He says they've all been delivered
into Lord Carlton's hands.

I don't believe it.
He would have come.

He might not want to, Amber.

Why not?

Nothing's changed
between Bruce and me.

Nothing could ever
change it.

Not even a wife?

I've been married myself.

Yes, but he might
also be in love.

Bruce?
Don't be ridiculous.

I wonder if he thought
I looked old.

He knows I'm almost 25.

Lord Carlton, my lady.

I'll be out directly.

There, Nan, you see?

I told you nothing had changed.
Help me, quickly.

Her ladyship
will see you, my lord.

Bruce?

My services, my lord.

Well, Bruce, don't
you remember me?

No.

- Well, I'm your father, lad.
- From America, my lord?

Yes. Here,
let me look at you.

You were only a baby
the last time.

Now you're half a man.

Next year I'm to be a page at court
like my Lady Castlemaine's sons.

Will that be fun,
do you think?

I don't know.

I suppose you have to wait
until you're grown up to have fun.

I brought you a present.

A tomahawk.

A tomahawk?
Thank you, my lord.

Just like the Indians use.

Do you know any Indians?

Yes. There's a boy just your age
who goes fishing in our river.

Go along to Nan now,
Bruce.

Yes, Mother.

Pray, sit down, my lord.

We've come a long way
since Marygreen.

We have at that.

I've been meaning to pay
you a visit for several days.

I understand, Bruce.

I know it's rather
awkward for you.

Do you want to explain
how it happened,

or shall we just forget
about her entirely?

Corinna?

I don't know what
there is to explain.

I can guess most of it.
She's very rich, isn't she?

No. Rather the contrary.

Her father's
quite a small planter.

But... then why did you—

I didn't come here to
discuss my marriage, Amber.

I came to talk to you
about Bruce.

Have you given any
thought to his future?

But of course I have.
He'll be the Earl of Radcliffe.

Charles has approved
the succession.

He might even be made a duke.

A title has its advantages,
that's true,

but I wonder
if it quite makes up

for the lack of a name.

You might have given him
your name once,

but now that you've married—

It's still not too late.

What do you mean?

It isn't an easy thing
to ask of you,

but, Amber,
we both love him.

We want the best for him.

I'd like to adopt him
and take him back to Virginia.

Bruce?

It's a sick age we live in.

We've both been touched
by the sickness,

but perhaps our boy
can be spared it.

In Virginia,
he can start afresh,

free from whispers
and scandal.

Whispering does a duke no harm.

For the next 8 or 10 years,
the duke will be a growing boy.

How are you going to explain
a growing boy to your wife?

I already have.

You— You've told her...
about me?

Not by name,
of course.

Oh! Just some nameless wench
that you took pity on

and kept out of
the rain one night.

I think I stayed
as close to the facts

as a husband ever does
under the circumstances.

He's my son,

and I'm not going to turn him
over to this wife of yours.

She'd hate him. She'd make his life
miserable because he's mine.

You wouldn't say that
if you knew her.

She's no saint,
I'll warrant you.

Certainly not unless
I've been grossly deceived.

You think she's a different sort
of person from me, don't you?

You don't believe she'd
do exactly what I've done

under the same conditions?

I'm not making comparisons.
That wouldn't be fair.

I am making comparisons,

and I'll wager you
she's no more virtuous

underneath that
smug look than I am.

Listen, Amber,

don't decide anything as important
as this when you're upset.

I'm riding to Essex this afternoon
to settle my estate there.

I only ask you, before you
give me your final answer,

try to think of the boy a little, too.

Of course everyone
in London was there.

And when Castlemaine
came in with a strange man,

I tell you tongues were wagging.

And what do you think
he turned out to be?

A dancer.
A common dancer.

No one expects Castlemaine
to show any taste,

but you'd think
she could do better than that.

Perhaps my Lady Carlton
finds our court scandal tiresome.

Oh, but I don't, Your Majesty,

since we have nothing
like that in the colonies.

What on earth
do you do for amusement?

Bruce and I manage
to entertain ourselves,

and there's so much to be done,

land to clear and plot,
buildings to raise.

Why, we're busy
from sunrise to sunset.

A reversal of our customs
here in London.

We just built a new room
for Bruce

where he can be alone
when he feels like it.

You're a shrewd
as well as a devoted wife.

Any man likes to have
a place of his own

where he can escape
his women.

But naturally,
a woman likes to know

just what he's escaping to.

Don't you find it so
with his lordship?

I'm interested in everything
he does, my lady,

and everything
he ever has done.

Uh, Charles, if you don't mind,

I've had a raging
headache all evening.

With your permission,
I'll retire.

But, of course, my dear,
if you're not well.

Perhaps you could send
Lady Carlton home for me.

Good night, my lady.
It was so good of you to come.

It was good of you
to ask me, my lady.

Oh, Sir Thomas.

His Majesty most expressly
wishes not to be disturbed.

But, my lady, a communication
from the Dutch ambassador.

I suggest that you
wait until morning.

Very well.

How well do you know
my Lady Radcliffe?

Tonight is the second time
I've seen her.

You heard your husband say
they were old friends.

Yes, sire.

Her son is called Bruce,

an unusual name,
save in Scotland.

Yes, sire.

I found her sudden headache
tonight quite extraordinary

in the presence
of a potential rival.

I assure Your Majesty

no thought of such a rivalry
has entered my mind.

We are discussing
my Lady Radcliffe's mind,

which is
a very different mechanism.

I believe that its workings
have brought us together

in what,
you are doubtless aware,

is a highly compromising
situation.

I am aware of it.

And you're not afraid?

Do I appear afraid?

Would you be if you knew
that at this moment

a message is probably on its way
to my Lord Carlton

informing him
of your whereabouts?

Do you think
she would do that?

I think she's already done it.

She must hate me terribly.

There can be little doubt
about that.

It's difficult to know what to do,

though I'm sure you should
return at once to your lodgings.

It would seem
the wiser course.

Though a regrettable necessity.

I take that
as a compliment, sire.

It was so intended.

I've never been overfond
of your husband.

Perhaps our tastes
are too similar,

but please convey to him my best
wishes for his future happiness

and my most sincere
congratulations.

Thank you, sire.

Good night.

Good night, Your Majesty.

I wonder.

Yes, sire?

If we hadn't realized
we were victims of a plot,

if you had simply
been my guest here tonight,

what might the result
have been?

It's a pity that we shall
never know, Your Majesty.

You will find a door
at the foot of the stairs.

There is always
a carriage waiting.

Why, Charles,
where's my Lady Carlton?

I sent her home,
as you requested.

I'm really very grateful to you
for bringing her here.

Women like that are
rare enough at any time,

but in these days,
they're as scarce

as lovelocks
on a Roundhead.

A faithful wife, Amber.

I never thought
to see one in Whitehall.

You mean
she pretended to be faithful.

It was no pretense
if I'm a judge,

and I believe I am.

I think you'd better
not send that letter.

We made a mistake,
Amber, you and I.

For you, I fear it will prove
a costly mistake.

Charles.

The affront to my dignity
I might forgive.

Perhaps,
granted the moral level

I've permitted
this court to sink to,

even a king should expect
to be used as a pawn

in a dirty game,

but I'm not only a king.

I should know that.

But do you?

Of course I do, Charles,
and I love you.

I wish you did, my dear,

but you don't,
and you never have.

I don't blame you
for loving him,

but I cannot
forgive you for it.

If I hadn't been king,

I might have managed
sometime in my life

to fall in love myself,

but instead I've had to create
an illusion of happiness.

I've had to pretend to love,
pretend to be loved.

At best,
it was a fragile device,

too easily shattered,
as you've shattered it tonight.

Oh, Charles, I didn't mean to. I—

I know you didn't,
but it cannot be mended now.

You will have to make
arrangements to leave Whitehall.

I will undertake to make
some provision for your journey.

Come, children.

Mother, what is it, Mother?

Are we going away?

Yes, Bruce. Yes, darling.

You've been crying, Mother.

Oh, it's nothing, Bruce.
When you grow older,

you'll learn that women are
always crying for no reason.

Darling, we're going
to the country.

Perhaps you won't like it
as much as you do here.

Oh, but I will if you're there.

Oh, I want you to be happy.

We can be happy together,
just the two of us, can't we?

Yes?

Sir Thomas Dudley,
my lady.

Run along now, darling.

His Majesty has placed a coach
at your disposal, my lady.

As soon as you finish
packing, let me know.

Yes, Sir Thomas.

Of course, it isn't necessary
for you to leave London at once.

What else can I do?

May I be so bold as to inquire

if your ladyship is free
for supper this evening?

You're quite bold, Sir Thomas,

and hasty almost
to the point of indecency.

I hope your ladyship
will forgive a haste

which is born of ardor.

My lord.

Sir Thomas.

I've come sooner
than I intended, Amber.

We've decided to sail
for Virginia tomorrow.

Tomorrow?

Yes. I've finished
my business here,

and my wife doesn't seem
to find London as exciting

as I thought she would,
so I'd like your answer now.

It's no different, Bruce.

You can't have him.

I have no right to insist.

The only reason I do
is I think we'd...

both like to give him
a better start than... this.

Bruce, you don't know anything
about the start he did have.

Let me tell you some things
you don't know about your son.

He was born
in a den of thieves.

His godfather
was a highwayman,

and he had a murderess
for attendant,

and if I hadn't gone out
and stolen for him,

he'd have died there.

You make me understand better than
I did how much I'm asking of you,

but I still ask it, Amber.

And I still say no.

What makes you think
he'd leave me anyway?

He loves me.

You haven't spent six days
with him in all his life.

Let's ask him
which of us he prefers.

Nan, send Bruce here.

You'll see whose son he is.

Amber, you're not going
to let a six-year-old child

decide something that
he can't even understand.

Do you want me, Mother?

Yes, darling.

Listen, Bruce, your father's here

because he wants to take you
to Virginia with him.

Virginia?
Oh, could I, Mother?

Would you really
take me, sir?

If your mother says you can
and if you'd like to come.

And I can see the red Indians
and all the wild animals,

and I can have a pony
to ride?

When will we go?

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow?
On your ship?

Yes, on my ship.

Then I won't have to grow up
before I'm happy.

And you'll come, too,
Mother?

Yes, Bruce.

Later perhaps.

Amber—

You can take him
with you now.

I'll tell Nan to pack his things
and send them over.

There's no need to hurry.
I can delay my sailing—

No. It's better this way.

You should understand
that, Bruce.

You've always hated partings,

and, besides, I have
a thousand things to do,

the hairdresser and the milliner,

and the arrangements for
the dance I'm giving for the king.

I'm inviting the whole court,

the foreign ambassadors as well.

And I'm having 50 fiddlers

and that dancer of Castlemaine's
to entertain my guests.

Oh, go!

For the love of heaven,
take him and go!

In heaven's name, Amber,

haven't we caused
enough unhappiness?

May God have mercy
on us both for our sins.

-- English --