I, Claudius (1976): Season 1, Episode 11 - Fool's Luck - full transcript

Claudius accepts the crown and spares all the conspirators except Cassius for killing Caligula's wife and family. He also deifies Livia. Messalina, having borne him children, persuades him to let her rule alongside him and brings in senator Silanus as an aide, Silanus marrying Domitia, Messalina's mother. However Messalina attempts to seduce Silanus, leading him to try and kill Claudius, for which he is executed. Not for nothing has Claudius's friend Herod Agrippa warned him to trust nobody.

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I call upon the noble
Appius Junius Silanus to speak.

Senators, I was summoned here
from Spain by our Emperor.

By our late Emperor.

(LAUGHTER)

I need hardly describe to you
the feelings with which I journeyed.

A few months ago, hearing that
a friend was sick, I went to sea him.

"What is it that ails you?"
I asked him.

He smiled.
"Appius Silanus," he said,

"I have bean summoned to Rome."

He meant, of course,
that he was dying.

I arrived here yesterday.



Today, the Emperor is dead
instead of me.

Let that notorious phrase -
summoned to Rome - perish with him

from our language forever.

And let us return once again
to the sanity of a republic!

(CHEERING)

Senators! Senators! Senators.

The Praetorian Guards have carried off
Caligula's Uncle Claudius

and proclaimed him Emperor.

Did you hear me?

The Guards have proclaimed
Tiberius Claudius Emperor!

Come on, sir. Drink up.

I d-don't want any wine.

Well, do you er...?
Do you mind if I...?

Do as you like.



I'm y-your prisoner, not you mine.

No, no, you're not our prisoner.
You're our Emperor.

I've told you a d-dozen times,
I d-don't want to be Emperor.

You're a funny chap.

You're the only person in the country
who doesn't want to be an emperor,

and yet here you are,
chosen to be one.

Life's full of irony, isn't it?

Hail. Caesar!

I've no right to that title
and you've no business using it!

He's being very awkward. He's bean
uncooperative all the way here.

Leave us.

You know, sir, I knew your brother,
the noble Germanicus,

on the Rhine years ago.

We tried to make him Emperor
when Augustus died, but he'd not have it.

Well, my b-brother believed
in a r-republic.

That's all very well
for the likes of you, sir.

Being members
of the Imperial family,

you can afford the luxury
of Republican sentiments. I can't.

I rose through the ranks.

Besides, I've got 4,000 men
who need an Emperor

if they?re to be gainfully employed.

I need not remind you
what might happen

if they?re let loose on the streets.

(KNOCKING)

Excuse me, sir. There's a chap here
who claims to be the King of Bashan.

C-claims to be or is?

Well, I don't know. I didn't know
there was a place called Bashan.

- Do you know him, sir?
- If it's Herod, of course.

L-let him in.

Congratulations, Caesar,
on your election!

May you long enjoy the honours these
brave soldiers have bestowed on you.

There you are, sir!
And he's the King of Bashan.

You've come at the right moment.

Although we've elected him Emperor,
Tiberius Claudius wants a Republic.

Perhaps you can persuade him
to sea the consequences.

I wish you wouldn't keep
taking it off, sir. It really suits you.

What is the matter with you, Herod?

Do you intend to go along
with this farce?

Listen, old friend, and be thankful
I arrived in Rome.

I know your views, so I know
exactly what you're thinking.

You think of yielding up your power
to the Senate at the earliest moment.

- Of course.
- You mustn't!

First, it would be signal
for civil war.

The Senate are a flock of sheep,
but there are wolves among them,

all convinced
they should be Emperor.

Secondly, the moment you relinquish
your power, you're a dead man.

Why? I b-believe in a Republic.

You're a danger to the assassins.

They?ve already killed Caesonia
and the child.

- What?
- Don't you sea?

A Republic necessitates the death
of all the Imperial family,

- not just Caligula.
- And M-Messalina?

Oh, she's safe.

You must put aside your ancient
prejudices, my friend,

and accept the reality that is.

If you do not, I cannot answer
for the consequences.

These Protectors have bean sent
to summon you to the Senate.

- What has happened to them?
- They?re fortunate.

The Guards almost killed them.

Don't you know their persons
are inv-violable?!

Sorry, Caesar. I didn't know
they were coming.

It's a disgrace.
What does the Senate want?

- Pardon us, Caesar...
- Stop c-calling me that!

The Senate would be obliged
by your immediate attendance.

They?re anxious to know
your intentions.

What, take our Emperor? Not a chance.
Dump them in the Tiber!

Get back, all of you!

Tell the Senate
that our Emperor remains here.

And when he leaves, he leaves
with 4,000 Guards behind him.

Give my compliments to the Senate.

Tell them I am unable, for now,
to comply with their request.

Give them safe conduct
back to the city.

Caesar.

Out.

Get a move on.

Do nothing until you hear from me.

I shall arrange a meeting between
you and members of the Senate,

but in the palace.

But make your mind up to it,
Claudius.

For good or ill.
they?ve made you Emperor.

If you don't accept, you won't
survive - or any of your family.

If you do nothing else, accept.
At least for the time being.

(TRUMPET FANFARE)

Senators, I understand you d-d-do
not want another Emperor.

But it seams
you've b-bean given one.

I sympathise with you.

I d-do not want to be an Emperor,

but it seams I have bean chosen one.

Perhaps you could t-take a little
moment to sympathise with me.

Your appointment
is unconstitutional

I agree, but there are 4,000
Praetorian Guards who d-do not.

And who created
that Praetorian Guard?

You did in the reign of Augustus.

It's against the constitution.
Only the Senate can appoint an Emperor.

It is also against the constitution
to m-murder one!

If you hadn't done so, Marcus,

we shouldn't b-be here
in this absurd position!

You're not fit to be Emperor.

I agree. But then nor was my nephew.

What difference is there
between you?

He would not have agreed,

and by now your head would be
on that f-floor for saying so!

There are those who say
you cannot hear properly,

you cannot speak properly,
and you've no experience of government.

And that I am, besides,
half w=witted.

Senators, it's true
I am hard of hearing...

but you will find it's not
from want of listening.

As for speaking, again,
it's true I have an impediment.

But isn't what a man says
more important than how...

..long he takes to say it?

It's true, again, I have little
experience of government.

But have you more?

I, at least, have lived with the family
who have ruled this Empire

aver since you so spinelessly
handed it over to us!

I've observed it working
more closely than any of you.

Is your experience better than that?

As for being half-witted.

Well, what can I say except
that I have survived to middle age

with half my wits, while thousands
have died with all of theirs intact!

Evidently, quality of wits
is more important than quantity.

I shall do nothing unconstitutional

I shall appear at the Senate

where you may confirm me
in my position or not, as you wish.

But if it pleases you not to,

explain your reasons to them,
not to me!

Now you may all leave my house
except Marcus Vinicius and Asprenas.

And bring in Cassius Chaerea
and G-Gaius Sabinus.

I feel a f-fraud.

You won't when you begin work.

There's much to do. Do it very well

Caesar, Gaius Sabinus is dead.
He's taken his own life.

All the officers involved
have bean arrested

and are awaiting trial
and execution.

I cannot find it in me to condemn you
for killing my nephew.

But you also murdered
the Lady Caesonia and the child,

and you meant to murder me
and my wife.

None of whom had aver done you
any harm.

I did it for the Republic
and I would do it again.

No. You did it more for the injuries
to yourself than for the Republic.

But even that doesn't weigh with me.

What w=weighs with me
is w=what I've heard -

that it was agreed among you
that only Caligula should die.

But that you took it upon yourself
to kill us all Is that true?

Why should I deny it?

Your existence proves that only your
death would have ensured a Republic.

Then you leave me no choice...

b-but to condemn you for the murder
of Caesonia and the child.

- Take him away.
- Congratulations, Caesar.

You've passed your first sentence of death.

How many more will you pass
before they pass one on you?

Isn't that the way we've set for ourselves?
Think about it, Caesar! Think about it!

The investigation into this affair
is closed.

(CROWD SHOUTS)
Hail. Caesar! Hail. Caesar! Hail. Caesar!

Oh, look. He's dribbling.

(BABY WAILS)
Oh, chu chu chu.

There's no need to show him
on the balcony every time you sea him.

No, but I like to show him.
The people like to sea him.

Next to you, he's the most
imp-portant thing in my life.

I can't thank you enough for him.

I am so v-very much in love.

And so am I.

I've given him to a foster mother
to nurse.

You're not going
to b-breast feed him?

No, my dear. I've thought
a great deal about it.

Now, be honest, have I bean a help
to you since you became Emperor?

Of course. What would I
have done without you? Oh.

What would I have done without her?

Now, I want no small husbandly
praises.

I asked you to let me revise
the senatorial roll -

who should be left on
and who taken off. Was I efficient?

I was amazed at how much detailed
knowledge you had of everyone.

And all the detailed work I did
as Director of Public Morals?

Yes, it was a revelation.
You've bean a great help to me.

As Livia was to Augustus?

Yes.

My darling, I want to be Livia
to your Augustus.

You know I have a brain, as she had.

I'll never be content
just to be the mother of children.

Oh, of course I shall love them.

They?ll be yours - how could I not?

But I must work alongside you

and relieve you of some
of your small and petty burdens.

Will breast feeding my son interfere
with all this great work of state?

How would you feel if you had
to stop a Senate meeting

to go and breast feed a child -
not once, but four or five times a day?

Yes. I can hardly find time
to f-feed myself.

Very well

All right. Now I shall leave you
to rest.

And you too should rest.
You've not stopped for a year.

When do I have time to stop?

Well, if you're not going to feed my son,
I'll find you other work.

I told you he wouldn't be angry.

You are fortunate to have
such an understanding husband -

considering that he's also Emperor.

Well, he loves me and I help him.

I don't know why you want to concern
yourself with matters of state.

It's not a woman's place.

It may not be yours, Mother,
but it's mine.

Do you not intend
to have any more children?

No.

- Does your husband realise this?
- Not yet.

How will you prevent it?

Oh, Mother, you're such a mouse.

Do you think a wife must give in
to her husband every time he insists?

And one of his age?

There are ways of being nice
to a man without risking pregnancy.

Have you never thought
of marrying again?

You're still an attractive woman.

I've thought of it.

Why? Do you want to get rid of me?

Of course not.

On the contrary,
I'd hope that you and any husband

would continue to live
in the new palace.

Well, there's nobody who wants me.

Not even Appius Silanus?

Why did you say that?

Weren't you fond of him once?

Oh, well.. What a memory you have.
You were so young.

I remember him very well

He used to come to the house
quite often.

That was a long time ago.

Besides, he was at Rome at the time
of Caligula's assassination

but he never came near me.

Perhaps he lacked encouragement.

Well, he went back to Spain
and I've no desire to live there,

so stop making plans
in that busy little head of yours.

So Livia is a goddess at last?

That will please her.
She wanted that more than anything.

Yes, I've kept my promise,
though I never dreamed I'd be able to.

But the Senate f-formally granted
my request this morning.

Livia takes her p-place
among the gods.

I should like to be there in Heaven
when she arrives,

and the Divine Augustus takes her hand
and shows her to all the gods.

Oh, how proud he'll be.

The Lady Messalina
is excessively romantic.

Yes. I'm a l-l-lucky man, am I not?

Shall we tell him?

Since he's going away,
let him be the first to know.

- She's pregnant again.
- So soon?

You sea, even Herod thinks
it's too soon.

Well, love, it wasn't my fault.

Well, whose fault was it, eh?

Well, no... I mean, she gave
our little son out to be nursed.

Well, I understood. She does so much work
for me. It was inconvenient.

But it's well known breast feeding
is a sure guarantee against pregnancy.

- When is it due?
- In July.

I shall send it something
very special indeed.

What will I do without you?
Won't you change your mind and stay?

No, Caesar,
you don't need me any more.

Who's going to tell me
how to borrow money

or what the corn factors
are saying?

You have good people about you now
who can tell you far more than I.

Messalina, make him change his mind.

He has kingdoms of his own
to govern.

And you've given him several more
than he had before.

Oh, yes. Yes, I mustn't be selfish.

But it's true, all your principal
advisers are freedmen.

It would be good to find a nobleman
to take the place of King Herod

- on whom you could absolutely rely.
- Are you thinking of someone?

- Yes, my love.
- You sea how she works for me!

Her mind is never still Who?

Appius Silanus.

But he's Governor of Spain.

Yes, and a man
of immense experience.

He's wasted in Spain.

You should bring him to the palace
and have him at your side.

- He has Republican sentiments.
- Well, haven't I?

He spoke out against you
in the Senate after the assassination.

Augustus n-never enquired
into people's political beliefs.

He always said
that was not his concern.

I shall always do the same.

Yes, but I'm not sure Silanus
would like to live in the palace.

The new palace,
which you've turned into offices.

I have a feeling the Lady Messalina
is ahead of us.

What are you thinking?

It's only a suggestion,
but my mother was fond of him once.

It would please her to marry again,
and Silanus would not be adverse

to a connection
with the Emperor's family.

Have you added m-matchmaker
to your list of careers?

- Of course. If you don't approve...
- I was j-joking.

I think it's a very good idea.
What do you think?

As from today, I cease
to give advice on any subject!

Well, I'm tired.
I shall leave you both to talk.

- Goodnight, my dear.
- Have we tired you?

Of course not.
Goodbye, King Herod.

If your people love you
as much as we do,

you are a fortunate king indeed.

I shall be thinking of you in July.

- Goodnight.
- Goodnight.

Am I not the most f-fortunate
of men, Herod?

Now, why have I deserved such luck?

Oh, it's fool's luck,
little marmoset.

You've always had it
and you always will

One day, I'm sure,
you'll be an Olympian god

when I am only a dead king.

You know, when I first came to Rome,
you all seamed like gods to me.

Oh, I'm sure I never
l-looked like one.

Yes, even you.

Do you aver think of those days
at all. little marmoset?

Lately I've bean thinking
about them a good deal

And with a good reason.

I'm thinking of writing a book
about my family.

What sort of book?

T-the truth.

Oh. Will you tell everything?

Everything. As an historian should.

Not great tales of heroic exploits
as T-Titus Livy wrote, no,

but the plain facts, the kitchen
details, even the g-gossip.

Why? Why should you want
to write such a book?

Eh? Why rake it all up?

Because I owe it to the others
to tell the truth.

T-to Postumus and Germanicus.

Why?

Because they?re dead,

and a man should keep faith with his
friends even though they?re dead.

You sea, I've bean
so very fortunate in my life,

when they, who were born
more deserving, have not.

I've had only three real friends
in my life.

Postumus and Germanicus were two.

The third one is you.

Listen, Claudius.

Let me give you a piece of advice.

Oh, I thought you'd finished
with advice.

One last piece and then I'm done.

Trust no one, my friend, no one.

Not your most grateful freedman,
not your most intimate friend,

not your dearest child,
not the wife of your bosom.

Trust no one.

No one?

Not even you?

- Is it all right?
- Beautiful. Beautiful.

(BABY CRIES)

Is it a boy or a girl?

Let us at least
get the engineers to survey it.

We've always w=wanted
a safe winter harbour.

Everybody's always said it would
cost too much. Let us find out.

(KNOCKING)
Caesar! The child is born!

- What?
- Caesar, your child is born.

But...?

The child is born. It's a girl

Oh, Lucina be praised!
She's heard my prayers. I'm coming.

Let's have no more discussion.

Get the engineers to make
that survey. Then we'll decide.

It'll cost ten million. More.

The more expensive it is, the less
likely it is it will aver be built.

What are you suggesting?
That we exaggerate the cost?

Well, my dear Narcissus, you have
money in corn. I have money in corn.

Lots of people have money in corn.

The more corn that can be landed
in winter, the lower the price will be.

That worries me.

That could be construed
as a very selfish point of view.

Is there less selfishness in wanting
the price of corn to be low?

There are more people
who want it to be low.

Doesn't that add up to more
selfishness rather than less?

That is sophistry.
One cannot argue with you.

Let's get the report.

I'm sure the cost will take care
of the philosophical considerations.

Oh.

I must have fallen asleep.

You're tired. You don't look well

You work too hard.

Yes, but so do you.

You're not so young as I am.
What does your doctor say?

Oh, what they all say.

I work too many hours.
I should work less.

Well, they?re right. You should
leave more things to other people.

I'm going to sea another doctor soon.
G-Greek, recommended by Herod.

Do you think that wise?
Our own doctors are so clever.

Well, I'll sea him. What can I lose?

How's my l-little daughter?

Cutting her first tooth.
The nurse showed it to me today.

Ah. Oh, that's painful
Poor little thing.

I think I have the most adorable
husband in the world.

He feels everything so deeply.

You have the m-most adoring.

What did you tell me were the three
main pillars of the temple of love?

Frankness, kindness
and understanding. Why?

- I want to put them to the test.
- What have you done?

Nothing.

But there's something I want to do
and for which I must be frank.

And for which I must be kind
and understanding?

Well, tell me.

Could you possibly allow me to sleep
in a bedroom of my own for a while?

Oh, don't look like that
or I shall hate myself forever!

Oh, I should never
have suggested it.

D-do you not l-love me any more?

I could understand that.
I am so much older than you.

Oh, my dear! I love you more
than I aver did.

Don't you know that?

I just don't want to risk a third
pregnancy in so short a time.

Don't you sea what it could do
to our marriage?

To our love for one another?

My love, I would never force myself
upon you.

Do we have to sleep apart?

Couldn't we at least s-share
the same bed?

Don't you sea how much more
it would hurt our marriage

if you felt passionate to me
and I felt I had to refuse you?

And if I did not, then how
remorseful you would feel after?

Oh, I've hurt you.

- I should never have mentioned it.
- No, no, no.

Oh...

How l-long would you want
the s-separation to last?

Oh, not long.
Well, let's sea how it goes.

You know I couldn't keep away
from you forever.

I shall slip into your room now
and then when you least expect it.

I think that could be even more fun,
don't you?

Pardon me, Caesar,

but you asked me to let you know
when Appius Junius Silanus arrived.

- He is here.
- I'll sea him shortly.

No, wait. I'm leaving.
Let him come in.

Well, he's had a long journey.

Very well. my love.

If you think it would be good
for our m-marriage to be apart

for a little while.

Women know more about these matters
than men.

I'll have the servants
arrange another bedroom.

There's no need for that.

Since you've agreed
that it's a sensible proposal.

let's do it properly
and remove temptation.

I'll move into a suite
next to my mother in the new palace.

My offices are there too.
It'll be much more convenient.

The noble Appius Junius Silanus,
Caesar.

- Hail. Caesar.
- Did you have a good journey?

Excellent. The roads were good.

Do you know my wife,
the Lady Messalina?

Only as a girl
You are even more beautiful now.

I'm so glad you're here. You shall
be a great help to my husband.

I'll tell my mother you've arrived.

- Perhaps we can all meat at dinner?
- I would like to sea her again.

Your ayes are inflamed, but I'll give
you a lotion to bathe them with.

Slight retraction of the eyeballs.

- You've had infantile paralysis?
- Yes.

There's nothing I can do about that.

The rest of your body
is fairly sound.

You've developed good strong arms
to compensate for your legs.

- Were you a premature birth?
- Yes.

I thought so. And you've had
measles, colitis, erysipelas.

And scrofula. Can you tell
all that just by looking at me?

And using my brains.

Your food is not digested
from yesterday.

We had a wedding yesterday. Appius
Silanus married my mother-in-law.

I probably ate too much.

You must stop that. Never get up
from a table without wanting more.

- I suppose you get wind?
- Well,.

If you do, let it out.
It does great injury to the stomach.

I don't mind which end
you let it out.

A man who puts good manners
before good health is a fool

Is there any point
in prescribing exercise?

No. What time do I get for exercise?

Massage will have to do.

You can get up now.

Now, Caesar, listen.
You work too many hours.

I know that all important people
think they?re indispensable,

but read as little as possible -
get your secretaries to read to you.

Rest for an hour
after your principal meal

Don't go rushing off
to the law courts after dessert.

And have 20 minutes massage
twice a day.

- I've got a good masseur.
- Get rid of him.

The only good masseurs in Rome
are mine. I'll send one to you.

What about the cramps in my stomach?

If you will eat large meals quickly
in a state of nervous excitement,

you must expect cramp.

I'll give you some medicine
for them.

Ah, medicine.
Some secret preparation, I suppose?

Can I get that here
or shall I have to send away?

You can find it on any piece
of waste ground. It's bryony.

What, common bryony?

I'll leave instructions
on how to prepare it.

- What about the prayers?
- What prayers?

Don't you prescribe special prayers
to be used when taking medicine?

Caesar, as High Pontiff
and the author of a book on religion,

you are more qualified
to prescribe prayers than I.

Do you Greeks believe in nothing?

I've told you what I believe in -
bryony.

Hail. Caesar.

- You asked to sea me?
- Yes.

I too wished to sea you. I've not
spoken to you since the wedding.

Which, I understand,
I owe to your good offices.

Yes.

You have done me a kindness
and, I hope, your mother.

Let me speak with you for a moment.

Come and sit beside me.

I love you. I've always loved you,
aver since I was a girl

No. No...don't say anything.

In all the years since you stopped
coming to our house,

I have never once gone to sleep
at night without thinking of you.

Not once.

Can you understand that?

Not one night have I slept
without thinking of your arms about me.

I've burned inside thinking of you.

And now you're here.

Here.

I don't understand.

Oh, my darling. I've arranged
all this to have you near me.

I've dreamed of nothing else.

Then I must tell you that these
are the fantasies of a young girl

They?re the sort of dreams
we put aside when we grow up.

But I have not put them aside,
nor will I.

Am I to understand that my marriage
to your mother -

which you brought me here to...

That was a farce?

It was in order that you and I
could sleep together?

- My mother is not important.
- And your husband?

Claudius?

Why, do you think I'd arrange
all this without his consent?

Why do you think we sleep apart?

Those are his arrangements,
not mine.

Not that I mind. His sexual
practices are abhorrent to me.

Why has he agreed
to your sleeping apart?

Because he now wishes to practise them
with the wives of Senators.

He wants me kept amused while he does,
and he expects you to do it.

That's why you're here.

Then let him tell me that himself!

Oh, you simpleton!

Do you think he would
tell you himself?

He'll deny it, of course he will

You disappoint me.

I thought you more sophisticated

than to confront him with
an arrangement he agrees to,

but would proffer not to discuss.

Are you all so brutally obvious
in Spain?

Everything is arranged, my darling.

You're right. I am a simpleton!

Having lived through the reigns
of three Caesars,

and seen the depths to which Rome
has sunk beneath them,

I should have known better than to
believe a fourth could be different.

I have a granddaughter
nearly your age.

I won't deny that
I'm of an amorous disposition -

I have bean all my life.

But I wouldn't touch you, Lady,
for all your beauty...

with a ten-foot pole!

You forget who I am!

Not the girl you once teased
and joked with, but the Emperor's wife!

I have only to raise my voice
and tear my clothes

for you to be executed on the spot!

I give you one weak to come to me
of your own accord and on your knees!

If you do not, I shall tell
my husband that you refused me...

and in refusing his wife,
you will have insulted him.

He's become very vain, you know.

You're wasting your time, Lady.

I've lived too long to become
the bedtime toy of a 17-year-old girl

Your threats are wasted on me.

- We shall sea.
- Yes, we shall sea.

And Rome shall sea how easy it is
to straighten one's back

and hold one's head high
when the will is there.

Well, w=what is it?

A plan for rebuilding the harbour
at Ostia.

Of course it is! Whose is it?

It was made in the time
of the Divine Julius.

- Where did you find it, Caesar?
- In the archives.

It's identical to the one Tortius
has just produced. Look, Silanus.

What's the matter with you?
Are you ill?

- No, Caesar.
- What relevance have these plans?

Well, the engineers working
under the D-Divine Julius

estimated this rebuilding
would take four years

and cost four million gold pieces.

The estimates presented to me
are for t-ten years

and 15 million gold pieces.

But those estimates
are 90 years old.

Are there less days in a year now
than there were then?

There's bean an increase in costs.

Prices have risen
by no more than a quarter.

How, then, do you explain
my chief engineer's estimate?

- Well,.
- I will explain.

Everywhere you underestimate
the amount of earth

that one hundred men
can move in a day.

I mean, are men weaker now
than they were then?

The topography remains unchanged,

yet on the Divine Julius' plan
they were cutting through earth.

In yours, you claim we were
cutting through r-r-rock.

- I can't understand it.
- Let me explain it.

Your surveyors have bean taking
bribes from the corn factors.

- Caesar!
- Sh-sh-shocking, isn't it?

Well, I-I can't think
why they should.

I can. To keep up the price of corn.

Wouldn't you agree, Silanus?

Yes, Caesar.

Well, Tortius. You will begin work
on the basis of these estimates,

revised for the difference
in prices.

Even so, Caesar, where is the money
to come from?

We shall get the first million
on loan from the corn factors.

A million?
They can't raise that much.

You'll be amazed, Pallas,
at what they can raise

in return for my agreement
not to begin an inquiry

into allegations of b-bribing
my officials.

Yes. It's very late. You may all go.

We'll visit the harbour tomorrow.

I should like a word with you alone,
Caesar.

Oh, very well Come and look
at these plans, Silanus.

You didn't take much notice of them.

The Divine Julius
knew what he was about.

Yes. They are remarkable.

In many ways, better than the ones
T-Tortius has produced.

The only thing they leave out

is the building of the island
between the two moles.

Come and look...

Help! Get off me!

Help me!

Help me! Help me! Help me!

Wait! Wait!

Get up! Get up!

What happened? Caesar! You're hurt!

- I'll fetch the doctor.
- Silanus tried to kill me.

Why? Why?

Let me have him, Caesar. He'll talk.

Why, Silanus, why?

Tyrant!

Tyrant? I don't understand.
What harm have I aver done you?

I brought you back from Spain,
I made you a minister.

I connected you by marriage
with my family.

Yes! To put me in bed with your wife
and service her like a bull!

What do you mean?

- W-what do you mean?
- You're all the same.

Don't toy with me, Caesar.
Do what you have to do.

I ask you again, w=what do you mean?

You know what I mean!

How predictable you Emperors are.

All your reigns
begin and end the same.

From vices timidly concealed
to vices openly displayed.

One follows the other
as sure as decay follows death.

Fetch the Lady M-Messalina,
and her mother!

We've seen this play before,
don't make us sit through it till the end.

You will explain that calumny
on my wife and on her mother.

And if you do not or will not
to my satisfaction,

you will surely die
for this attempt on my life!

What is it? What's the matter?

Appius Silanus has tried
to kill the Emperor.

Silanus? But why?
Why would he do such a thing?

I don't know. I thought perhaps
you could tell me.

What have you done?
What do you know about this?

I know nothing. Nothing! Do you
think I plot to kill my own husband?

There's no time to discuss it now.

You must support everything I say,
do you understand?

Mother!

I will do nothing to incriminate
Silanus. He's my husband.

Oh, you fool! Do you think I brought
him back from Spain for you?!

I love him. I've always loved him.

You are monstrous!

(KNOCKING)

You will tell my husband
what I tell him, understand?

If you do not, I shall say
you were part of it all

I'll say you agreed to it.

Oh, my dear. What's happened?
Are you all right?

Yes, yes. I'm all right.

Silanus tried to assassinate me,
but I'm all right.

I want you to look at him.

I want you to look into his face.

Now, repeat to her
what you said to me.

Let's finish with this. Get it over.

- Repeat it.
- For whom?

For her, who told me
what I told you?

- Or for you, who knew it all?
- Repeat it!

I told your husband
what you told me.

That he had arranged my marriage
so that you could become my mistress.

That he had done it
so you could be kept amused

while he took his own perverted
pleasures elsewhere.

It was there and then
that I decided to kill him.

To strike a last blow for Rome
and end this plague of Emperors!

Well?

Oh, Silanus...

How could you?

How could you?

He is sick with love, my dear,
for me.

I should have told you.

I should have come to you at once
but I thought it would pass.

Apparently, he has loved me
aver since I was a little girl

I had no idea. How could I?

Since he returned,
he has pestered me day and night.

Sometimes pleading
and sometimes angry and violent.

I think, perhaps, in his mind,

he does in some way
believe what he told you.

That I had arranged his marriage
for our convenience.

You poor deluded man.

How could you think there was anyone
dearer to me than my husband?

When he came to me today,
he was so violent

that I said I would come to you
and have you send him away.

That's when he threatened
to kill you!

I never in my wildest dreams imagined
he would carry out such a threat!

Bravo! Beautifully played!

That performance should be enshrined
in drama.

Is this t-true?

Yes. His passion for my daughter
has turned his wits.

Have you anything to say?

Only that what I did I'd do again.

Then you leave me no choice!

No! Oh, no!

Please, my dearest, I beg you!

I couldn't bear for him to die
because of his love for me.

No, no. Banish him. Banish him.
But let him live.

(PALLAS) He must die, Caesar.

No! NO!!

An attempted assassination
cannot be punished with banishment.

Such a precedent would serve
only to encourage others.

What a soft heart you have.

Even after all the lies
he's told about you.

But P-Pallas is right.

The heart cannot rule the head
in these matters.

I cannot do it, even for you.

I sentence you to die,
as you sentenced me.

- Take him away.
- May you rot in hell!

And that she-wolf with you!

Now, leave me, all of you.

I'm tired.
Vtg