North & South (2004): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript

Margaret Hale, a 19-year-old lively young girl, and her parents leave the south, when her father Richard resigns as the clergy in Helstone on a matter of conscience. The family moves to Milton in the north of England where Mr. Hale starts working as a private tutor. Margaret and her mother find it difficult to adapt to the north. While Margaret tries to deal with her new home and thereby befriends Bessy Higgins and her father Nicholas, poor local mill workers, she becomes aware of the social inequalities. On seeing John Thornton, a cotton-mill owner, badly treating one of his workers, Margaret's prejudices are reinforced. Thornton, on the other hand, forms a more positive opinion of Margaret.

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(TRAIN WHISTLE)

(VIOLIN POLKA)

What a business this wedding has been,
what an expense.

You know, sometimes, my dear sister,
I envy you your little country parsonage.

You two married for love, I know.

Now, of course, Edith can afford to do that.

Go on, Captain! Dance! Dance with your bride.

- You are bored, Miss Margaret.
- No.

- I'm tired.
- Oh.

I'm exhausted. And a little too grown-up
for ornaments like this.

(SIGHS) When I get married,
I want to wake up on a sunny day,



put on my favourite dress
and just walk to the church.

There.

There. Is that better?

- I think you look very well.
- (CHUCKLES)

You would look very well whatever you wore.

(CHUCKLES) I love my cousin dearly.
I've been very happy in this house.

But I'll be even happier
to go home to Helstone.

Ah, the wonderful Helstone.
You cannot be kept away?

No. I cannot.

It's the best place on earth.

(EDITH GIGGLES)

(GIGGLING ECHOES)

(BIRDSONG)

(MAN) Margaret. Is that you?



M... Mr Lennox. W... what's happened?

- Is it Edith? Some accident?
- No, no, calm yourself. No such calamity.

I have come to visit paradise...

...as you suggested.

Well...

Mr Lennox.

Y... You'd better sit down.

(LAUGHS NERVOUSLY)

This is home.

Mama, you remember Mr Lennox?

Oh, yes. Yes. Yes, of course, I...

I could walk this route
with my eyes closed.

I've been visiting Father's parishioners
since I was a very small girl.

Did you hear what I just said?

- (CHURCH BELL RINGING)
- Sorry, I...

I was just remembering your prescription
for a perfect wedding.

"I should like to walk to church
on a sunny morning."

Was this the path you were describing?

Why, yes, I suppose so, I...

wasn't actually thinking of MY wedding,
you understand.

- I was wondering, Margaret, whether...
- Please, don't won...

...whether you might consider making that walk,

sharing that morning
with one who... Please, listen.

Please. Don't continue.

I'm sorry.

Excuse me. I...

You led me to believe that such an offer
would not be unwelcome.

A London girl would know not to talk of
wedding days in such ambiguous terms.

Excuse me, I... said nothing I am ashamed of.

I... I'm sorry if you have been mistaken
in my affections for you.

Is there someone else,
someone else you prefer?

No.

I do like you, Henry.

But I am not ready to marry anyone.
You must believe that I mean what I say.

Henry, I...

...I- I'm sorry.

(COUGHING)
We'll be on the streets...

in a strange place.

Mama, I told you, we'll stay at a hotel
until we find a house. It won't take long.

Perhaps Dixon and I could stay
on the coast while you look.

Yes... as the missis is so delicate.

No, Maria. Your place is with us.
It will not take us long to find a house.

My old college friend, Mr Bell,
has agreed to help.

He's already organised a list of potential pupils.
There'll be plenty of teaching for me.

There will be no people there like us
in Milton. How can there be?

We will manage, Mother. It's not another planet.

(GUARD) Outward, Milton!

Outward, Milton!

All change!

All change for stations north!

(WEEPING) Why have we come here, Dixon?

It's going to be awful.

- I know it is.
- Shh.

- Outward, Milton!
- Dixon. Take care and find a porter.

We have arrived.

- All change!
- (WHISTLE BLOWS)

(GIRL) I see 'im!

Porter! Take these, please.

(GUARD BLOWS WHISTLE)

We'll find a house faster separately.

- Are you sure?
- Of course.

Eggs, fresh-laid eggs this mornin'!
Come and get your eggs!

(BARROWMEN SHOUT)

Fresh fruits! Fresh fruits! Fruit and vegetables!

- (MAN) Hello, how are you?
- (MAN) All right.

(CHICKENS SQUAWKING)

- The living room's quite spacious.
- The property's not for me.

I'm enquiring on behalf of
one of me master's business acquaintances.

The man is still living as a clergyman.
Or rather a former clergyman.

He's used to living simply. He's never been
a man of great property or fortune.

(MUFFLED ARGUING)

- A matter of conscience, I believe.
- Ah, conscience.

That never put bread on the table.

- South, eh?
- Mm-hm.

A little, er... indiscretion took place, maybe?

Well, they do say
the Devil makes work for idle hands.

- Maybe his hands weren't so idle.
- (BOTH MEN CHUCKLE)

- He'll find things a mite different up north.
- Oh, aye.

I'll make good the repairs,
but the decoration's good enough.

What a business, eh? For a man
to uproot his wife and child to Milton.

Conscience or no conscience,
that's strange behaviour.

- Excuse me, madam, can I help you?
- My name is Margaret Hale.

- Who are you?
- I'm Williams, Mr Thornton's overseer.

He asked me to look out properties
for your father.

How much is the rent for the year?

Mr Thornton will discuss it with your father.
No need to concern yourself.

I've no idea who your Mr Thornton is.
I thank him for his trouble,

but my father and I are sharing the task
of securing a property.

I have spent two days
viewing what Milton has to offer,

so I have a fairly good idea of price.

- Mr Thornton thinks this will do very well.
- Where is Mr Thornton?

- Excuse me?
- Take me to see this Mr Thornton.

If he won't deal with me,
I'll have to deal with him.

- Does Mr Thornton live here?
- Aye, but he'll be at work.

Stay here, miss. I'll find Master.

(COUGHS)

(COUGHS)

(MUFFLED CLATTERING)

(MACHINES CLATTERING)

Stephens!

Put that pipe out!

I saw you!

Stephens!

Stephens!

Come here!

(STEPHENS GRUNTS)

- Smoking again.
- I wasn't!

- Where is it?
- I wasn't smoking, I swear.

Still warm. I warned you.

No! No! Please, sir!

- Please don't... Please!
- You stupid... idiot!

Please, sir!

- Please!
- Look at me!

- Look at me!
- (MARGARET) Stop!

- Stop! Please, stop!
- Who are you? What are you doing in here?

- My name is Margaret Hale.
- Miss Hale!

- Sorry, sir, I told her to stay in the office.
- Get her out!

Aye, crawl away on your belly!

Please, sir... I have little ones.

You know the rules!

- My children will starve!
- Better they starve than burn to death!

Get out before I call the police!
Get that woman out of here!

Please, miss.

Miss. Miss, please.

Miss, please, miss... Please!

(EDITH) My darling Margaret, we are back
at last from our honeymoon in Corfu.

We've been away so long I'm almost fluent
in Greek - or so the Captain says.

But you know, everything he says
is always so agreeable.

Dear Margaret... Now I shall say
something that will make you very angry,

but I can't help it.

What was Uncle thinking of,
taking you all so far away from home?

Why on earth are you in that awful place
where they make cotton,

where no one who is anyone wishes to buy it?

I am sure we'll always wear linen.

(MARGARET) Dear Edith, I'm pleased to report

that we've replaced the horrible wallpapers
with altogether more agreeable colours.

Dixon has only - if you think this possible -
grown in energy.

She has set herself the task
of engaging an under-maid,

but as yet there isn't anyone
within a radius of 50 miles

who is remotely suitable
to wait on us hand and foot.

I'll sit, if you don't mind (!)

Hm. You'll be expected to be well up
before the family to light the fires.

I'm sorry, I'm not getting up
at five in the morning.

And I'm not working for those wages.

I can get four shillings as a piecer at Hamper's.

Anyway, if you don't mind me asking,

where's the money coming from to pay for me?

This house must be £30 a year, and there's not
much coming in from what I heard.

I'll come and go as I please!

And I don't need no bossy, jumped-up servant

to tell me what's what and how to behave!
You can keep your rotten job!

Me, a servant, indeed (!)

I don't know what the master was thinking of,
subjecting us to all this gossip!

Margaret?

What's the matter?

(CLEARS THROAT)

There is some talk...

Margaret?

Margaret? What does she mean, talk?

I did hear some people talking,
when we were house-hunting.

About why we moved to Milton... so abruptly.
Why you left the church.

People are... talking?

Well, it's only natural, after all,
that people should wonder.

It's not usual for clergymen to leave their parish,

travel hundreds of miles,
as if to escape something.

Just because we follow you without question...

(OPENS LETTER)

It's from the bishop.

- It's not about Frederick?
- No. I keep that letter with me always.

To reassure me that I made the right decision.

I... is this all?

"I ask that all rectors
in the diocese of the New Forest

"reaffirm their belief
in the Book of Common Prayer."

Exactly. The effrontery!
The man's ten years our junior.

He tries to treat us all like children.

But this is a formality, surely... to reaffirm.

My conscience will not let me.

I can and have lived quietly with my doubts for...

well, for some years now, but...

I cannot swear publicly
to doctrines I am no longer sure of.

Now, we men of conscience
have to make a stand.

- We?
- Yes, there are others who have doubts.

We all agreed. We could not reaffirm.

Are you telling me
that all the rectors of the New Forest

have decamped to industrial towns?

Well...

some thought it possible to yield,

but... I did not.

- How many? How many refused?
- I could not avoid it. I was forced into it.

You must understand.

I understand.

(INHALES SHARPLY)

I understood...

that the very worst must have happened...

that you had lost your faith...

or that you felt that God wished you
to preach His word in these new places.

That some very great matter
must have happened to make you uproot us all,

dragging us up to this God-forsaken place!

- Maria.
- You gave up your livelihood...

...our source of income...

...on a formality.
- It was not like that, Maria.

Really. It IS not like that.

I already have work - teaching.

And I... I will find more.

And... and maybe I will discover

that is my real vocation after all.

The people here don't want learning.

They don't want books

and culture.

It's all money and smoke.

That's what they eat and breathe.

- (BABY CRYING)
- (MARGARET) You're right, Edith.

Milton is very far from home,

but it is quite an interesting
and modern sort of place.

There are at least 20 mills, all very prosperous,
in and around the town,

and it's full of new industry
of one sort or the other.

It is of course not remotely green like Helstone,

and so large that I often lose my way.

But the people are friendly enough

and there is nearly always someone
to point me in the right direction.

(HORNS BLAST)

(RUSHING FOOTSTEPS)

(URGENT CHATTER)

'Ey up, what have we got here?

Watch out, lass!

- (RAUCOUS LAUGHTER)
- (WOMAN) 'Scuse us!

(GASPS) Please.

Please... Please don't.

Just stop.

- Please... please stop.
- (RAUCOUS LAUGHTER)

- Leave the lass alone.
- Here y'are!

Leave the lass alone.

She shouldn't take on so.
We were only having a bit of fun.

Come on, miss.

Be careful where you walk
when the whistle sounds for the break.

But don't worry, they won't harm you.

They just like a bonny face.
And yours is a picture.

Come on.

I'm... I'm obliged to you. Thank you, sir.

You're welcome, lass.

No charge, miss.

(SHOUTING AND LAUGHTER)

(CAB DRIVER) Get up! Hup, hup, hup!

So this century was probably the most
productive, simply in terms of the number...

(MARGARET) Father is working hard.
He teaches students and also lectures...

- though some of it is unpaid...
- (SNORES)

... and, I fear, unwanted.

- But he keeps happy.
- Thank you.

(PERSON APPLAUDS LIMPLY)

Until, erm... next Sunday.

He entertains his private pupils at home.

We have to make a choice, John.
Now, it's difficult, I know.

Margaret? Is that you?

Margaret! Come in, Margaret. Come in.
Meet my new friend and first proper pupil,

Mr Thornton.
This is my daughter, Margaret.

I believe we have already met.

Ah. Now, Mr Thornton can't decide
between Aristotle and Plato.

I suggest we start with Plato

and then move on. What do you think?

I'm afraid Miss Hale and I met
under unpleasant circumstances.

I dismissed a worker
for smoking in the sorting room.

You beat a defenceless man
who was not your equal.

- Margaret.
- No, she's right.

I have a temper. Fire is the greatest danger
in my mill. I have to be strict.

A gentleman would not use his fists
on such a... pathetic creature

or shout at children.

I dare say a gentleman has not had to see

300 corpses laid out on a hillside
as I did last May.

Many were children.
And that was an accidental flame.

The whole mill destroyed in 20 minutes.

(SIGHS) I should go.

- You'll join us for dinner next week?
- Oh, yes, of course. Erm... thank you.

Erm... and we'll start with Plato next Tuesday.

- I will ask my mother to call when you're settled.
- Of course, erm...

By all means.
We're always here. Aren't we, Margaret?

(MARGARET) I'll admit that Milton
doesn't have any grand palaces or works of art,

but it does have some pleasant parks
where we take our daily walk

and meet our friends, while the weather holds.

- Are you followin' me?
- No. Well... yes.

I didn't mean any offence.
I recognised you from Marlborough Mills.

I recognise you.

Giving Thornton back as good as he gave.

You don't see that every day.

- Well, I... I don't want to keep you.
- What important appointments might I have (?)

I'm going to meet my father.
He works at Hamper's, a mile across town.

- But you work at Marlborough Mills.
- Yes.

It's nearer home.

And the work's easier. Here's Father now.

Father? Young woman I told you about. The day
Thornton beat up Stephens and sent him packing.

He deserved it. Fool put everyone at risk.

- You're not from this part of the world, are you?
- No. I'm from the South.

- From Hampshire.
- Mm. That's beyond London, I reckon.

Mm.

Where do you live?

We put up Frances Street, in Princeton.
Behind Golden Dragon.

And your name?

- My name is Margaret Hale.
- My name is Nicholas Higgins.

This is my daughter Bessy. Why do you ask?

Well, I... I thought that I might come
and bring a basket.

Excuse me. At... at home,
when my father was a clergyman...

A basket?

What would we want with a basket?

We've little enough to put in it.

See, I don't much like strangers
in my house. I dare say in the South,

a young lady feels she can wander
into anyone's house whenever they feel like it.

Here, we wait to be asked into someone's parlour
before we charge in.

Excuse me, Mr Higgins, Bessy,
I... I didn't mean any offence.

That's why I reckon you can come
if you want, but you'll not remember us.

I'll bet on that.

(MARIA) Margaret!

What's the matter? Are you unwell?

It must be Mr Thornton's mother.

(MARGARET)
Well, there's no mistaking that stern brow.

And that must be the sister.

What a deal of starch!

It would take someone all day
to iron that petticoat.

Where will we put them, Mama?
I don't think the two of them will fit in here.

(BOTH CHUCKLE)

(CLOCK TICKS)

How exquisite.

I haven't seen English pointwork
quite like that for years.

Our Milton craftsmanship
can compare with the very best.

I suppose you are not musical, as I see no piano.

I am fond of music, but I cannot play well myself.

As you can see, this house would
hardly bear a grand instrument.

- (POLITE CHUCKLING)
- We sold ours when we moved.

Yes, these rooms are far too small
for entertaining.

Our staircases are wider
than the whole width of this room.

I wonder how you can exist without a piano.

It almost seems to me a necessity of life.

- There are concerts here, I believe.
- Oh, yes. Rather crowded.

They let in anybody.
But we have whatever is the fashion in London.

A little later, unfortunately.

- You know London, of course.
- Oh, yes.

I lived there with my aunt and cousin for a while.

Oh! London and the Alhambra.
They are the two places I long to see.

The Alhambra?

Yes, ever since I read the "Tales
of the Alhambra". Do you know them?

Oh... I don't... think so.

But it's a very easy journey to London
and not half so far.

Yes, but...

Mama has never been to London.
She cannot understand why I long to go.

She's very proud of Milton.

(LOWERING VOICE) Dirty, smoky place
that it is. I can't wait to leave.

May I ask why you chose
to come and live in Milton?

I mean... why did you leave wherever it was?

- Helstone.
- Oh.

Well, it...

...it-it was my husband's decision.

It was a matter of... of conscience.

But Mr Hale is no longer a clergyman, I thought.

My husband very much enjoys
his lessons with Mr Thornton.

I think it makes him feel young again.

Classics are all very well for men who loiter life
away in the country or in colleges.

But Milton men ought to have
all their energies absorbed by today's work.

They should have one aim only.

Which is to maintain an honourable place
amongst the merchants of this country.

Go where you will,

the name of John Thornton in Milton,
manufacturer and magistrate,

is known and respected
amongst all men of business.

And sought after
by all the young women in Milton.

Not all of them, surely.

If you had a son like mine, Mrs Hale,

you would not be embarrassed
to sing his praises.

If you can bear to visit our dirty, smoky home,

we shall receive you next week.

Mrs Thornton.

Well, what a splendid house! Erm...

But, er... do you not find
the proximity to the mill a little, erm...

...well, noisy?

Never.

I've not become so fine as to forget
the source of my son's power and wealth.

The mill is everything.

There is no other factory like it in Milton.

This house is my son's achievement.

(MEN LAUGHING)

Did I tell you, Thornton,
about the price of raw cotton in Le Havre?

- I believe you did.
- Come on, Thornton.

Even you can spot a bargain.
Cotton's a great deal cheaper from the Caribbean.

I'll bet you Egyptian is still cheaper.

They can't offer those prices for long.

They'll be bankrupt in a year
and our supply'll be interrupted.

I'd rather pay more for a steady supply
through Liverpool. We'll all lose in the end.

Thornton's as straight as they come.
He won't risk Malborough Mill,

even if it means not speculating.

That's the best way, surely, with so many lives
depending on the factory's continued success?

- Well... that would be the Christian way.
- (SUPPRESSED LAUGHTER)

Hear the latest
over clamouring for a new wheel?

- Thought you'd agreed to it.
- I had.

First, the men threatened to turn out
if I didn't install it. It would've cost me £600.

It blows away the strands
that fly off in the sorting rooms.

Helps keeps fluff off the workers' lungs.
It doesn't stop it.

So, what was the problem?

Some workers claimed they'd need more money
to work with a wheel.

- What?
- Yes. Believe me.

They heard it'd make 'em hungrier
than they say they are!

- The wheel'd make them hungry (?)
- Yes.

There wouldn't be so much fluff to swallow,
so their bellies'd be emptier.

Oh, yes. So...
Oh, and this is the beautiful part.

They were saying I'd have to pay 'em more.

Now the men can't agree to what they want,
so I've been spared £600

and the men have themselves to thank
for the carding rooms being like Christmas.

(LAUGHTER)

Come on, Thornton. Surely you wouldn't approve
of workers telling you what to pay 'em?

I've had a wheel in all my sheds for two years.

- More fool you. I can't see profit in it.
- There is no immediate profit.

Not in pounds, shillings and pence.

But... Well, there is a "but", in't there?

But...

my workers are healthier.
Their lungs don't clog so easily.

They work for me longer. And their children.
Even you'll see profit in that.

But surely, erm... it's the right path, also.

Sound business sense, Mr Hale,
and I cannot operate under any other moral law.

I do not run a charitable institution.

My workers expect me to be hard, but truthful.

I tell them how things are
and they take it or leave it.

- Harkness tries tricks with his.
- You've got to keep them on their toes.

It's a war, and we masters
have to win it or go under.

- (LAUGHTER)
- Hear, hear!

Mama, I have a letter from Edith.
Would you like me to read it to you?

She sends love from Aunt Shaw.

I wonder that your father prefers
the company of Milton traders.

As if there wasn't enough to do already!
We've got no help to speak of.

I have to do everything.

It's all the master's fault.

He took leave of his senses
when he brought us here.

He is not the vicar of Helstone any more.

He has thrown away his position in society
and brought us all down with him.

He'll be the death of us all!

Dixon.

I know you love my mother,
but you forget yourself.

Please don't talk about my father in that way.

It's not for you to question
his motives or judgement.

You're a servant in this house.
Keep such thoughts to yourself,

or you are free to go back to Helstone
whenever you choose.

Like it or not... we are here.

I will help you.

You, Miss Margaret? In the kitchen?

Yes. Me.

I can learn to starch and iron,
and I will until we find suitable help.

You'll do as I say, Dixon.

(CHILD SOBBING)

Excuse me. I'm looking for Bessy Higgins.
I must have come in the wrong direction.

- She's along the way, round the corner.
- (GRIZZLES)

It's all right, she's not frightened of you.
She's hungry. That's why she cries.

Bessy's just round the corner.

(MAN AND WOMAN ARGUING)

(CRACK)

Excuse me, I thought Bessy Higgins lived here.

I'm sorry I didn't come earlier.

To tell you the truth,
I didn't know that I would be welcome.

I thought groceries would be offensive.
But if I had come without anything...

If there's a remote possibility
of us finding offence,

you can be sure we will.
We're very good at that in Milton.

I feel I've lived in Milton for quite some time now,

but I still find myself constantly at fault
whichever way I turn.

How long will it take for that to change?

Oh, a couple of years at least, in your case.

(COUGHING)

Sorry...

It's just I have a bit of cold
I can't seem to shift.

(LATCH CLICKS)

She were right. She said you'd come.

(BESSY) How was the meeting, Father?

Do not worry on my account.

I have no one to tell any secrets to.

Well, your father the parson's been seen
supping with the bosses.

Mr Thornton is his pupil.
He's certainly not my friend.

And Boucher? He's our neighbour down the way.

He's holding up. Just.

But he'll be with us when the fire goes up,
if he knows what's good for him.

Miss, your father teaches
at the Lyceum Hall, doesn't he?

Yes, he does. Sunday afternoons.

(PIANO AND WOMAN TRILLING)

Mother, remember I go to the Hales this evening.

I will be home to dress, but then out till late.

Dress? Why should you dress up
to take tea with an old parson?

Ex-parson (!)

Mr Hale is a gentleman
and his daughter is an accomplished young lady.

Don't worry, Mother.
I'm in no danger from Miss Hale.

She's very unlikely to consider me a catch.

She's from the South.
She doesn't care for our Northern ways.

Airs and graces (!)

What business has she?
A renegade clergyman's daughter,

who's now only fit to play at giving useless
lectures to those who do not wish to hear them.

What right has she to turn up her nose at you?

Board up the windows. There'll be a storm later.

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

(KNOCKS AT DOOR)

All motion and energy, but truly a thing of beauty.
The classics should be rewritten to include it.

(MR HALE CHUCKLES)

I'm afraid we're boring Miss Hale
with our enthusiasm for Arkwright.

No. Indeed, I'm sure it's fascinating.

I'm a little tired, that's all.

Er... Mr Thornton has been admiring
our newly redecorated rooms, Maria.

Oh. Yes, Mr Thornton.

Erm... well, there wasn't a great deal of choice,

but these papers are of a similar shade
to our drawing room in Helstone.

But not quite.

Well, on behalf of Milton taste,
I'm glad we've almost passed muster.

Yes. Yes, well...

clearly, you're very proud of Milton.

My husband admires its energy and its...

...its people are... very busy
making their businesses successful.

I won't deny it. I'd rather be toiling here,
success or failure,

than leading a dull, prosperous life in the South,
with their slow, careless days of ease.

You are mistaken. You don't know
anything about the South. It...

It may be a little less energetic
in its pursuit of competitive trade,

but there is less suffering
than I have seen in your mills.

And all for what?

- We make cotton.
- Which no one wants to wear.

I think that I might say
that you do not know the North.

We masters are not all the same,
whatever your prejudice against Milton men.

I've seen how you treat your men.

You treat them as you wish
because they are beneath you.

No, I do not.

You've been blessed with good luck and fortune,
but others have not.

I do know something of hardship.

16 years ago, my father died...

in very miserable circumstances.

I became the head of the family very quickly.
I was taken out of school.

I think that I might say that my only good luck

was to have a mother
of such strong will and integrity.

I went to work in a draper's shop

and my mother managed so that
I could put three shillings aside a week.

That taught me self-denial.

Now I'm able to keep my mother
in such comfort as her age requires,

and I thank her every day for that early training.

So, Miss Hale, I do not think
that I was especially blessed

with good fortune or luck.

- I have outstayed my welcome.
- Oh, no, John.

Come, Miss Hale, let's part friends
despite our differences.

If we become more familiar
with each other's traditions,

we may learn to be more tolerant, I think.

- I'll see myself out.
- Please. Please come again, John.

(THUNDER RUMBLES)

Margaret. The handshake is used up here
in all forms of society.

I think you gave Mr Thornton real offence
by refusing to take his hand.

I'm sorry, Father.

I'm sorry I'm so slow to learn
the rules of civility in Milton, but I'm tired.

I have spent the day washing curtains
so that Mr Thornton should feel at home.

So, please, excuse me
if I misunderstood the handshake.

I am sure in London, a gentleman would
never expect a lady to take his hand like that,

all... unexpectedly.

And I didn't know where to look
when he talked about his past.

His father might have died in the workhouse.

I think it might have been worse than that.

According to my friend Mr Bell,
his father speculated wildly and lost.

He, erm... he was swindled
by a business partner in London.

He, erm...

...he killed himself.

Because he couldn't bear the disgrace.

Mother and son and daughter
lived on nothing for years

so that the creditors could be repaid, long after
they'd given up any hope of settlement.

Margaret?

I think it very fine, Father.

I am sorry to have offended your friend.

And I must go to bed.

(HOOVES CLATTERING)

- Put him down. He's one of ours, isn't he?
- Boucher? He's Thornton's.

Aren't you interested, Thornton?
All mills together, if you please.

We need to show 'em we know what they're up to.

Let them meet, if that's how they want
to spend their leisure time.

- We're all trying to work together, Thornton.
- Are we?

- What does that mean?
- I overheard some of my men talking.

It seems you're planning to give in to them.

We agreed.

We'd all be in line.

So that the men would know we meant business
and know that we kept our word.

Well, I...

Father?

Well! (CHUCKLES)

My, er... pupils asked
if they could use the hall for...

a special meeting. Who am I to force
ecclesiastical architecture on them?

- (CHEERING)
- Quiet!

Quiet, please!

Friends... welcome.

Now, this is the first time
we have ever gathered together.

(CHEERING)

Now, don't worry, you'll all get a chance to speak,
as long as we take our turn.

Now, I'm Nicholas Higgins.
I work up at Hamper's Mill.

- Now, there's quite a few of us.
- (CHEERING)

There's some men from Thornton's
and Marlborough Mill. Where's Henderson's?

- What about Slickson's?
- (CHEERING)

Now... up at Hamper's...

we've got a lot of work.

Orders are flooding in,
and cheap cotton to meet them.

Now, there's those of us that know
that soon, bosses'll be telling us

although they're making a fat profit...

they can't make our pay
what it were five years ago!

Now, they'll have a load of excuses.

It's all because cotton's
suddenly become expensive.

- (MURMURING)
- This or that. That the machinery's packed up.

The buyers can't pay
so there's no money to pay us!

- You've all heard it before!
- Aye, the bosses make their own rules!

Henderson says one thing, Hamper another!
Different from one week t' next!

- But what's to stop 'em cutting pay again?
- (OTHERS) Aye!

And if we quit over wages,
there's more'll take our places!

- Aye!
- They will an' that!

That is why we must all work together,

because next time one of our bosses plays tricks,
we'll all know about it.

And if we all decide on a fair wage,
and none of us work for less,

then for once, WE'LL have a say!

What if they don't like it, eh?

What do we do then? What do we do then?

Boucher.

It, er...

it's all right some of you talking brave.

Nicholas here earns - what? 15, 16 shilling
a week? He's only three to keep on it.

My wife's sick,

I have six children,

none of them old enough for factory work.

If I turn out, we'll not be able to live on
five shillings strike pay from the union.

My children...

they'll starve.

Look, I'm not saying

that we're coming out today.

I'm not saying
that we're coming out tomorrow.

What I'm saying is...

when the time comes...

we will be ready.

And we will stick together!

(CHEERING)

Margaret, erm...

I know you and your mother feel I've let you down.

- Father, no.
- No. You do.

I know.

But I hope you'll realise that the people
up here... they aren't so very different.

You know? They just have different ways.

- Master.
- What are you doing here?

- I beg you to take me back...
- Get out!

I were at the meeting this evening.

I can tell you what they're planning.

- Please, sir...
- Get out! Don't come near here again!

- Who's there?
- Oh, it's only us.

- I promise you...
- Get away from here!

- Couldn't you show a little mercy?
- Mr Hale.

Please. Do not try to tell me my business.

Remember, they do things differently here.

Come, Father.

(SIGHS)

(MARGARET) I wish I could tell you, Edith,
how lonely I am...

how cold and harsh it is here.

Everywhere, there is conflict and...

unkindness.

I think God has forsaken this place.

I believe I have seen hell...

... and it's white.

It's snow-white.