The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 2, Episode 2 - Poor Catullus - full transcript

When two high spirited Oxford students play a prank on Louisa, she goes along with the fun and finds a Professor of Classics pitching the woo to her. Meanwhile, Lord and Lady Haslemere come down from Yorkshire to shop for their London home.

Anything for me? Turner-Rumbold.

Oh, yes, sir.

No, sir. I'm afraid
not today, sir.

Expecting something,
were you, sir?

No, sir.

I'll take Mrs.
Trotter's. Thank you.

Oh, Merriman, good morning.

A glass of whiskey,
if you'd be so kind.


Very good, sir.

Oh, blimey.

The phantom poet's struck again.

Here, listen to this:

"I thought my days
of passion were over,

"But love and wine and idleness

"And Glycera's beauty
are too much for me.

"Again I feel the
full power of Venus,

"Again must leave all other
subjects to write love poems,

"Again think only
of propitiating Venus

and moderating the
pains of me passion."

Well, it's obviously
somebody who admires you.

Sounds a bit old,
that's the trouble.

Yeah. I wish he'd get
me bleedin' name right.

He's called me
Chloe, Lesbia, Phyllis,

and now Glycera,

all in the space of a fortnight.

Perhaps he's shy.

Shy? No, he ain't.
Signed this one. Look.


We had any
Horaces here lately?

A Lord Horace, do you mean,
or a Mr. Horace something?

I don't know. Let's
have a look at the book.

Get Starr in here.

He might shed a bit of light.

Thank you.

Term beginning soon, is it, sir?

Next week.

Mr. Starr, will you come
in here a moment, please?

Yes, I remember terms beginning.

Oh, yes.

Bags arriving, bicycles...

Balliol, isn't it, sir?

Yes, that's right.

Benson wouldn't still
be there, would he? he a don?


Your friend Benson. Is he a don?

Oh, Lord, no, sir.

A porter at the lodge, sir.

Porter's a disagreeable
man called Duffy, I think.


Do you want me
to spell it for you?

Someone's been
writing me poems...

love poems.

Well, that's not unusual,

but I've been
bombarded with them.

Any idea who it is?

It certainly isn't me, madam.

I know it isn't you, you dump.

They come in the
post, don't they?

Oh, I see. Might
I...? Thank you.

They keep getting Mrs.
Trotter's name wrong,

which is funny.

"Full power of Venus."
quite flattering, madam.

Well, it would be if
I knew who it was.

It's Horace.

Do you know any?

What are you sniffing it for?

I thought it might be a
clue, madam...the aroma.


Smells like old cobwebs to me.

Oh, there was that jesuit
priest a few weeks ago.

You know, made rather
a nuisance of himself.

Father Simms.

I remember him. The
Simms of the fathers.


Sorry, madam. A little jest.

Was he called Horace?

No, it weren't him, Mary.

He was only after
me tarnished soul.

There was the arms dealer,

that Lithuanian gentleman
who paid court to you, madam.

A Lithuanian called Horace?

No. Quite.

Wasting our time, I think.

Thank you, Starr. Right, Mary.

We'll get on with
some more work now.

Just one thing, madam.
The postmark...Oxford.

And harking back to
the smell of cobwebs

and the obvious literary
merit in the poem...

Might be a scholar,
do you think?

A scholar after me?
Hardly likely, is it?

Not exactly the seat of
learning is the Bentinck.

Thank you, Starr.

All right, Mary,
what's this one?

Gas company.

Starr, old chap!

How jolly nice to
see a friendly face.

Good morning, Mr. Shepherd.

Got a room, have you?
Not chock-a-block, what?

We are quite full at the moment,

but there's always
room for you, sir.

Thank heavens!

Is Mrs. Shepherd with you?

Good Lord! Is she?

No, she isn't.

No, the old girl's having the
house done up at present.

Turning the first floor
into a hairdressing parlor.

- Little business scheme of hers.
- Oh, really, sir?

Yes. Women, hair,
builders everywhere.

My hair's dropping
out under the strain.

- I wouldn't say that, sir.
- I thought I'd...

take a little break,

come here for a few days, what?

Very wise, sir.

Oh, and, Starr...

If she comes looking for me,

mum's the word.

- There's a good sport.
- I quite understand, sir.

You can put him
in number 14, Mary.

If they start complaining,

you can tell 'em that's how

the Kaiser likes it
when he stays here.

That's the way to treat Germans.

Yes, ma'am.

Ooh! There's one here
from Lord Haslemere.

Yes, it's his crest.

Lord Haslemere?

What's he want
after all this time?

I don't know. Shall I open it?

No, you won't, Mary!

I suppose all the staff

open me personal
letters, do they?

Sorry, ma'am.

Lady Haslemere...
coming up to London

for a couple of days
to look at property...

Can we put her
up for two nights.

She's arriving Wednesday.

Oh, it'll be nice
to see her again.


Horace is a latin poet.

But is he in love
with Mrs. Trotter?

That's what we want to know.

That'd be a bit odd, Mary.

He's been dead
about 2,000 years.

Oh, I see.

You mean, he's the
author of the poem?

That's it, Mary.

Horace, lyrical poet
of the Augustan age.

Didn't know we had
a scholar in our midst,

did we, Fred?

I was at Balliol College, Oxford,
Mr. Starr, for a short while.

Oh, yeah? Pull the other one.

Hey, you were never
a student, were you?

Not exactly, Violet.

College servant...
scouts, they called 'em...

on the staircases.

And I used to serve dinner
on the top table to the dons.

Bit of learning's bound to
drop off in that sort of company.

But you still can't tell us

who's sending her the
poems, can he, Fred?

There's gentlemen
make up to her.

You often see 'em,

but she's all standoffish
about it usually.

I cannot understand it.

Suits her, Violet...

having several
admirers all at once.

Sort of smokescreen,
if you get my drift.

Nothing asked of
her. Suits her that way.

I believe there's only one
man she's ever really loved.

That was ages ago...

Lord Haslemere.

Can Fred have the last muffin?

His old rooms. All right?

Yes, I remember. Lovely.

Still his furniture.


What are you doing here, Tommy?

I didn't even know
you was in residence.

Oh, Lord, yes. Yes, I
am. I'm lying low for a bit.

My fault, madam. My
mistake. I'd forgotten about him.

Look, I say....I'll go.

Oh, please, no,
not on my account.

Lady Haslemere, Mr. Shepherd.

Oh! How do you do?
You must be Charlie's wife.

Delightful! We've never met.

- How do you do?
- Put him somewhere else, Starr,

and get Violet here
to clear up quick.

How is the old
chap? Is he with you?

- No.
- Ta-ta, Tommy.

Starr will show you the way.


Oh, excuse me.

Number 14, madam?

No, not there, you blockhead.

The Germans are going there.

Number 13? That'll do.

- Number 13, sir.
- Number 13. righto. I'll...

Just get my, um...

Well, good-bye.

See you again, no doubt.


Starr. Starr!

Sorry about that.

The poor man. I feel awful.

You don't want to
worry about him.

So, you've come to look
at property, have you?


Charles has been very busy
on the estate in the last year.

His father left it in
an awful muddle,

but things are better now,

and Charles suddenly felt
he needed London again.

Well, I agree with him.

Life is very pleasant
in Yorkshire, but it is rather...

..limiting for
someone like Charles.

If you need any help, I
know a few estate agents.

Yes, thank you. I'm
sure I will need help.

Right. I'll let you
get settled in, then.

Thank you.

Oh, Mrs. Trotter,

Charles is coming to collect
me on Friday afternoon.

I'm sure he'd like
to see you again.

Perhaps you'll have tea with
us before we catch our train?

Yes, that would be
very nice. Thank you.

Mr. Merriman.

What is it? Here, what...

Thank you.


By the afternoon post, madam...

Postmark, Oxford.

Silver platter?

Thought the occasion
might warrant it, madam.

You're getting a bit
big for your boots, Starr.

Yes, madam.

Oh, blimey. He's
declared himself at last.

Who is it, madam?

Stubbs. Professor Stubbs.

College notepaper and all.

Here, listen to this:

"Your fervent admirer from
the Groves of Academus. Ca..."

Here, he wants me to
have dinner with him!

CLAUD: You're
absolutely positive?

My dear Claud, I know
my own handwriting.

- What did you put?
- What we agreed.

"Your fervent admirer

"From the Groves of Academus.

Can contain myself no longer."

Yes, but what about the dinner?

Cafe Royal, this Friday.

She'll tear it up, of course.

Will she? It doesn't matter.

We will persist. We will
not take no for an answer.

Oh, what mirth! Poor old Stubby.

MARY: I had to tell you, ma'am.

I think it's a shame, really.

It was so romantic up to now.

Yeah, well... I
knew it was a joke.

Obvious all along.

But we'll keep it
going a bit, I think.

What are you going to do?


But you can't, can you?

I mean, the poor professor
knows nothing about you.


Well, he'll get a letter from a
woman he's never heard of,

accepting an invitation
to dinner he's never given.

That's right.

Well, his wife might see
it... if he's married, I mean.

Oh, yeah. Never thought of that.

Still, we can
reveal all in the end.

But then you'll get the
young men into trouble,

and they only meant
it as a bit of fun.

Mary, if idle young gentlemen

want to play jokes
on Louisa Trotter,

they can bloomin' well
face the consequences.

"Dear professor,

"With thanks for your kind
invitation to dinner

"at the Cafe Royal on Friday.

"Delighted to accept.
Yours truly, Glycera."

Oh, heavens.

Thank you, miss.

- You!
- Me, madam?

Yes, you. Come on.

Well, I won't bite you, dear.

Your hair could be much
prettier than that, you know.

Yes, madam?

Good morning, madam.
All right, Violet.

Is my husband
here, by any chance?

- Your husband, madam?
- Mr. Shepherd.

Is he staying here?

Mr. Shepherd...

Would that be
Mr. Tommy shepherd?

Is he here?

Here, madam?

STARR: Well, now you mention it,

I don't recall seeing
him here for...

..some months now.

Oh, Lord!

Hello, dear. You having
a nice holiday, are you?

Yes, dearest, I am.

Well, I've come to
join you for a few days,

just while the builders are in.

What a jolly good idea.

Do come up.

Good heavens! What have
you done with your hair?

Oh, it's topping.
Absolutely topping. Yes.

We're in number 13.

The room's smallish,
but the view's pleasant.

Narrow squeak there, Fred.

LOUISA: Sort of thing
you're looking for?

Yes. Hill street?

It's quite near here.
They're nice houses.

Easy to keep up. Wouldn't mind one meself.

Well, I shall certainly go
and look at it. Thank you.

Would you like some tea?

No, thank you,
not this time of day.

I'm afraid I haven't
got any Champagne,

- but I could ask for some.
- No, don't bother.

Must you go?

I'm sorry. If you're busy...

No, no, I'm not busy.


I've had rather an
extraordinary day.

Apart from looking at houses...

Can you keep a secret?

Well, I'll do my best.

Oh, dear. What have I started? may
have been wondering

why Charles and I
haven't yet had children.

There's plenty
of time for all that.

No. No, he wants
one desperately.

We're trying, but
so far, I've failed him.

You've failed him?

No, please... I started
to worry about it,

but that wasn't
helping, obviously.

So I went to see
a specialist today...

In Wimpole Street.

Oh, privately...Charles
knows nothing about it.

I was petrified, really, but...

..I saw him this morning,
and he was very kind.

He examined me thoroughly,

and I came through
with flying colors.

Oh, that's wonderful!

Oh, I can't tell you
how relieved I am.

Well, things will be so
much better now, I'm sure.

Haven't they been so good, then?

No. No, don't misunderstand me.

Charles is a most
considerate husband, and...

..we're very happy.

But now we'll be even happier.

And if he likes
the house, as well,

then I will have done two
things to please him, won't I?

Hope you enjoy your
evening, my lady. My lord.

Thank you.

STARR: Can I help you, sir?

Ah, yes. I have a
letter here from a lady.

I don't know who.

She signs herself...

- Glycera.
- Glycera?


And your name, sir?

My name?

Oh, yes. Stubbs.
Professor Stubbs.

Oh, I think it's Mrs. Trotter
you want to see, sir.

"Mrs.", you say?

In name only. It's
something from the past.

There's no Mr. Trotter. There
hasn't been for some years.

Ah, I see.

What...age is the lady?

I wouldn't like to
divulge that, sir,

not without the lady's
permission, you understand.

Oh, no. Quite so. Quite so.

Here she comes now.




STARR: Professor Stubbs, madam.

I received your letter.

Oh, blimey. Yeah.

Well, I can explain
that, professor...

If you'll follow me.

LOUISA: Good evening.

The professor?

That's right. He's turned up.

Looks more like an old tramp.

Well, he's a
gentleman by his voice,

but you should
see his fingernails.

The only clue was the
heading of the writing paper...

the Bentinck Hotel.

Do I know you?
Have we met before?

I have an appalling
memory for faces.

No. No, we haven't met before.

The fact is, it's
a joke, really.

It is?

Yes. Two of your boys
who stay here sometimes

been sending me poems

professing to come from you,

if you'll pardon the poems.

Naturally. That is my subject.

What are the names of
these two young gallants?

Tich and Rummy-Tummy.


Willie Watling and
Claud Turner-Rumbold.

Oh, those two. Yes.
Well, that's not surprising.

They have a flair
for the absurd.

Have you kept the
poems? May I see them?

- Here you are.
- Thank you.

Oh, yes.

Yes. Well, at least
they've had the good taste

to use my translation.


Written in latin, you see.

Catullus, Ovid,
Horace. Roman poets.

These ladies...Chloe,
Lesbia, and so forth...

the poets' various mistresses.

Oh, I wondered who they was.

Yes. I've translated
all their works.

Catullus, in particular.
Done a book on him.

Of course, you
can't print all his stuff.

Some of it is rather...
Fruity, you know.

Oh! I must read it sometime.


Good heavens!

Here's my supper

And my name, too.
What a wonderful forgery.

Yeah, well, I'm
sorry, professor.

I should never have answered it.

I thought you'd put it straight
in the wastepaper basket.

But, my good woman,
I couldn't do that.


An aging professor...

A bachelor...

Devotes a lifetime to
the study of these poets,

embraces their
minds and their souls...

And then suddenly one day,
the object of their passions,

the temptress Glycera,
leaps from the page

and accepts my invitation to
dine with her at the Cafe Royal.

Who could resist such an offer?

Are the... Scalawags here now?

Yes, I think they are.

Well, we're not going to
disappoint them, are we?


Dinner, tomorrow night...

At the Cafe Royal.

Oh, well, that's
very nice of you,

but I'm rather busy
tomorrow night.

Hmm. And tonight
I'm lecturing...

Horace's use of the
complementary infinitive.

But could we dine afterwards?

No, I don't think so.

The day after, I
must return to Oxford.

What a pity.

Are we going to let the
whole thing fizzle out?

Awful shame, don't you think?

Well, um...

I suppose I just might get free

tomorrow night.


Oh...happy Catullus!

It's settled, then.

I shall arrive for you at 9:00.




Uh, what is your first name?


I prefer Glycera. Oh...

What's yours?


Till tomorrow
evening... Good-bye.


He's a proper one and all.

Strange thing,
unrequited passion.

I suffered from it once.

Oh, yes?

Viennese, she was.

Lady's maid to a countess,
and I was a young man

full of fancies, valet
to Lord Petersham.

There we were,
in this grand hotel

when Vienna was Vienna.

What's the time, Mary?

5 to 10:00. Go on, Mr. Merriman.

Used to catch glimpses of
her passing through the foyer,

out on the terrace sometimes.

Spoke to her just the once.

She'd lost an 'air-bag
belonging to her mistress.

All of a fluster, she
was, pink in the cheek.

I helped her look for it.

Happiest 20 minutes
of me life, that was.

Did you find it?

What? Oh, no! No, no, Mary.

No, the old porter found
it behind an aspidistra.

Remember the smile she gave
him, her eyes moist with tears...

Smile of sheer gratitude.

I could have
been mine, that smile.

How I'd have treasured it.

Violet! What on earth
have you been up to?

What have you
done, you stupid girl?

Don't blame me. It
was Mrs. Shepherd.

You look like a tart. Go
and wash it out at once.

Why, fancy ladies
wear it like this.

MARY: Come with me
before Mrs. Trotter sees you.

Mrs. Shepherd told me
Lillie Langtry's packed up now.

There's no blondes
anymore. It's all red hair now.

Not here, it ain't,
my girl. Go on.

Went to Paris the next
day. Last I ever saw of her.

Dead now, I should think.

Oh, that smile of hers...

That'll live as long as
I live, and no mistake.

The girl's all right, isn't she?

Under control, I think, sir.

Miss Phillips helped
her wash it out.

But it won't come out, will it?

Dyed with henna leaves
imported from Africa,

they tell me.

My wife likes
people to practice on.

She's under instruction

from a Frenchman
she picked up in...

Why, if it isn't
Charlie Haslemere!


Long time, what?

Yes, indeed. Starr,
good to see you.

Welcome back, my lord.

Thank you.

Ah, Fred!

How are you?

glad to see you, sir.

TOMMY: I must tell Daphne!

I say, did you know
that I'd taken the plunge?

Good Lord! I don't believe it.

My dear chap, neither do I.

Well, who is she? Do I know her?

No. No, no, no, you
wouldn't know her, no.

Met her in Monte.

Found myself wed
within the week.

Good Lord! You old
dog. Congratulations.

Thank you. Oh, I met your wife.

Delightful creature, what?

Well, you must
take a glass with us.

Oh, yes, absolutely.

Starr, are we in my old rooms?

- Of course me lord.
- Oh, splendid.

Oh, my lord!

How are you, Mary?

Merriman... Surviving?

Just about, me lord.

LOUISA: Hello, Charlie.


Same as ever.

Oh, thank you.

And so is the Bentinck,
I'm happy to say.

Nothing's changed at all.

We must have
Champagne to celebrate.

Yeah. Later, perhaps.
Her ladyship's waiting

for us upstairs
with a tea party.

Come on.

A specialist?

Why on earth didn't you tell me?

It's so stupid to
hide it from me.

I had to do it on
my own, Charles.

Yes, I can understand that.

And it's the result
that matters, isn't it?

I'm all right. Aren't
you pleased?

Well, of course
you're all right.

The whole thing's a
fuss about nothing.

Be fair, Charlie.

Now, Louisa, please...
Keep out of this.

She was supposed to be
up here looking for houses.

Well, she's found you one.

What? Where?

Hill street. It's
quite near here.

I think it's just what we want.

Well...when can I look at it?

Well, we'll have to go now,
quite soon, before our train.

No. Look, it's a
pity to rush things.

Why don't we stay overnight
and see it in the morning?

I mean, it's not often
we get up to London,

and Louisa might
even cook dinner for us.

No, not tonight, Charlie.

Been asked out meself tonight.

Oh? By whom?

A friend...and I'm going off now

to tart meself up,
if you'll excuse me.

Thank you for the tea.

Oh, darling, I'm
sorry to shout at you,

but you were rather
silly, weren't you?

You must tell me
your worries in future.

Yes. My fault.

That's one of Mr. Mather's best.

You're a very lucky...

You look splendid,
madam, if I may say so.

Thank you, Starr.
He arrived yet?

Not yet, madam.

You'd better book us a table.

I doubt whether he will have,

and that place is always full.

Book it in his name, not mine.

Very good, madam.


Come here.

I had an accident, madam.

I can see you have, my girl.

What are you
going to do about it?

You're better off
bald. Or buy a wig.

You'll frighten the customers.

Yes, madam.

When you've finished
what you're doing,

you can take some towels
to Lord Haslemere's rooms.

He's staying. Yes, madam.


Name of Stubbs.

That's right.

Voila, mes braves!


Just a little welcome for
the prodigal son, what? wife Daphne,
Margaret Haslemere.


Hello, dear. Now,
we're not staying long.

And my old friend,
Charlie Haslemere.

How do you do? Hello.

Oh, set it down there,
Merriman, old chap.

CHARLIE: Oh, Tommy!

TOMMY: Shall we all sit down, then?
DAPHNE: Oh, yes, let's!

Ah...same old room.

But of course.

He's supposed to be
on the water wagon,

the silly man.

Nonsense. Nonsense!
Don't you believe it.

It's true.

Champagne is a
purgative to me system,

and my old friend Lord
Haslemere, my dear,

has just returned from
the regions of hell...

which is how I always
regard Yorkshire...

and must be restored to
the pink as fast as possible.

Now, isn't that right, Charlie?

Absolutely right, Tommy.

You and Champagne
are just the tonics I need.

We do have
Champagne in Yorkshire.

Ah, a brutish facsimile
of same, no doubt.

Well, now, let's
all drink a toast.

What shall it be? Um...
"Welcome home, Charlie"?

Oh, yes. Welcome home!

Welcome home,
Charlie! Bottoms up.

They're lovely roses, professor.

Oh, uh, there is
just one thing...

What's that?

Well, I'm not really accustomed

to going out with
gentlemen I hardly know,

so if you've any
ideas in your head...

Now, you take a good look now,

'cause that's all you're
going to see of me tonight.

Just so as we know
where we stand.

But, my dear, good
woman, I wouldn't dream of...

Oh, I know you wouldn't.

Oh. Oh. Oh. Well, I...


Oh, uh... Oh,
"The joy of girls."


LOUISA: Starr, fetch us a cab.

There's one waiting, madam,

and the advance party
have already left, madam.


Mr. Watling and
Mr. Turner-Rumbold.

They've gone to the Cafe Royal.

Do you hear that, professor?

Good Lord. I had
forgotten all about them.

So did I, come to think of it.

Shall we go?

People are always so stuffy
about hair, in my opinion.

I mean, if you like pigtails,

now, why shouldn't
you wear them?

But there's this doctor in
Devon saying they're unhygienic,

and hair needs air.

It's rubbish, and monsieur
Laffont agrees with me.

Who on earth is
Monsieur Llaffont?

He's my business partner.

Yes. She married
me and bought herself

a Frenchman in Monte,
all in the same week.

It wasn't like that at all,
dear, and you know it.

You're still my
favorite old thing.

But Monsieur
Laffont is a genius,

and I had all this money

that my second husband left me.

Biscuits, you know.

I just picked up the crumbs.

So I thought I'd do
something useful.

So you've started a business?

Yes, that's right, dear,

in our own home
in Bruton Street.

Monsieur Laffont is having
all his equipment

put in at the moment.

Some fresh towels for
his lordship, my lady.

MARGARET: Thank you, Violet.

Whatever has that poor
girl done to her hair?


She looks like a scarecrow.

Monsieur Laffont
is very advanced

in permanent waving, you know.

He's teaching me all he knows.

Yes. No place like home,
what? But I felt cuckooed,

my position being usurped
by a froggie, so I moved here.

She knew where
to find me, of course.

I say, this bottle's empty.

Oh, Violet!

Do you think you could

ask Merriman to bring up

another bottle of Champagne?

Yes, sir.

Oh, make it two, lovey.

Yes, sir.

I see what you mean.

I think you should take
her in hand at once.

Yes. Well, as a matter of fact,

I did...last night.

She looked lovely last night.

Can't think what
she's done to herself.

Oh, just the last little drop.

Don't worry...
reinforcements coming.

Thank you.

I like your hair,
dear. Who does it?

Oh, Lord, they're talking hair.

I say, what, you and I slip out

for a bit of gaming later on?

You know, private
house, old friend...

DAPHNE: Tommy!

Oh, ladies invited, of course.

Just a little flutter.

Well, I must say it
sounds rather tempting.

Oh, I think I'll decline.

Very wise, dear. So will I.

But you can go if you want to.

We'll stop and have a
nice little chat together.

Can we really?

Off you go, darling.
You go with Tommy.

Jolly sporting of you, old girl!

Thank you.

That was...

That was...

That was delicious.

Not bad., thank you.

I do hope you like this wine.

I always drink it each summer

on the island of Elba,
where I spend my holidays.

You're a connoisseur
of wine, I can tell.

Of the rougher sort,

if I may make a modest claim.

No, I don't suppose
I could teach you

anything about it, could I?

What an amazing place this is.

- Ain't you been here before?
- Never, in my life.

Who are all these people?

Writers, painters, poets...

And intellectuals.

Really? Fascinating.

Not forgetting our two young
friends in the mirror there.

Still there?

Hanging on every word.

Do you think we
should ask them over?

What, spoil our evening? Nah.

Here, I've got a better idea.

Kiss me hand.

Really? Yeah, go on.

That's what they're
wanting. Pretend it's Glycera.

I will.

Say, Claud, look!

By Jupiter! Cupid has struck!

Here, here, here, that's enough.

Was I overdoing it?

No, no. But I can tell

you don't spend all
your time spouting poetry.

It's true. I am a hedonist...

But for wine, good
food, and conversation...


What's wrong with women?

Nothing. I adore them...

To gaze upon and converse with.

As to sharing one's
life with a woman...

Accuse me of
selfishness if you will, but...

They do draw one's
strength, don't they?

Sap one's vitality

with inconsequence
and triviality.

Gawd strewth! The
ideas you men have of us.

What about the
other way around, eh?

You ever thought of that?
No, of course you haven't.

Mind you, I still have
an eye for a pretty ankle.

My girl students...

Well, that's illegal, isn't it?

That's like doctors
and patients.

Or lady hotel keepers
and their guests.

Well, that's my business.

Oh, uh, do you mind?

Oh, no, no. Carry on.

Odd occupation
for a woman, isn't it?

I mean, running a hotel.

Rather more a... A
masculine pursuit.

That's another
funny idea you got.

You're living back
in Roman times,

I shouldn't wonder, professor.

But those writers of
yours, Catullus and his lot,

they wrote about lively
women with good minds...

give them something
to think about.

They usually wrote about

fickle and faithless
women, in point of fact.

Fickle and faithless, eh? I
wouldn't know about that.

What about Cleopatra?

Now, she was a women
with a bit of go in her.

Ah! You see yourself
as Cleopatra?


Now, there was a devious woman.

I can't argue with you,
professor. You'll win.

But don't spend all your
time with your head in books,

or you might miss out
on what's really going on.

What enormous fun this is!

What are they talking
about? Can you hear?

Cleopatra, I think.

Cleopatra? Women, anyway.

That's good. That's good!

LOUISA: Those nosy
beggars still looking at us?

Let...let's play
a trick on them.

Oh, God! What do we do now?

Bluff it out.

Oh! My dear fellows,
I'm awfully sorry.

I've made the most
frightful mistake.

I mistook you for
two friends of mine,

Tich and Tummy-Rumble.

I do apologize.

But perhaps you'd
join us for a brandy

by way of recompense.

Awfully kind of you, sir.

We're still eating, actually.

Ah, well, never mind.

My apologies again. Good-bye.

That was a bit
heartless, wasn't it?

I have a reputation for it.


Not true, of course,
but what they expect

and no more than they deserve.

Here, you'll have us
under the table, you will.

Now, what were we talking about?

Ah, yes.

Yes, you were
giving me advice...

head in books.

My turn now.

Give up your Bentinck Hotel.

Come to Oxford.

Start a new place
there. We need you.

If Oxford needs me it knows
where to find me, in the holidays.

Now, why should I budge?

Because you're a
thinking man's delight.

You have wit, quickness of mind. You... the mind.

Sopwith says so.

Sopwith? Who's he
when he's at home?

A colleague of mine,
a professor of English.

Stayed at the Bentinck...twice.

I spoke to him last night.

Oh. Checking up on me, was you?

You remind Sopwith
of an ancient goddess.

Here, how ancient?

Timeless. The goddess Ceres...

goddess of corn and vegetation.

Earth mother.

Sopwith says...

He won't go to heaven
unless you're there.

Cor blimey! A lot of
rot you professors talk.

Have you got nothing
better to do with your brains

than natter on about goddesses?


Educate us, then.

Take us in hand.
Show us your way.

Time we got our bill, I think.



I'm sorry.

Sopwith warned me of this.

He said you'd cast a spell.

The mind races
on nights like this.


You are spoken for, naturally.

Are you?

I don't wish to pry.

Well....I have me moments.

No, I'm a bit like you, I think,

with the hotel and that.

A bit set in me ways.


I see.

No, we're not paying that.

You take that to Toulouse-Lautrec
and his friend over there.

They'll settle that.

Oh, and wasn't
that a bit heartless?

Nah, they can afford it.

Their fathers are stinking rich,

and they've had enough
free wine out of me in the past.

Come on.

There was one woman in my life.

Her name was Anthea.

I pursued her energetically.

But she married the
Dean of St. Edmund Hall.

I still see her in the
high from time to time.

We exchange cards
at Christmastime.

I'm afraid you remind me of her.

The eyes.

Ahem. Since then, over 30 years,

a mild flirtation or two...

And more recently,

a vigorous exchange of views

on all manner of topics
with my cleaning lady,

the respectable Mrs. Todd.

The sum total...until tonight.

You've...lit a fire
in me, you see.

Are you sure that ain't
just the Italian wine?

No, no, no. Is it?

No, no. I'm used to that.

Never arouses these
feelings in me usually.

Where are we going?

I thought you were
taking me home.

Whoopsey daisy!

Good evening, madam.

I hope you had a
pleasant evening.

Oh, very nice, thank you, Starr.

STARR: All right, sir?

Oh...pins and needles.

Got a room for the
professor, have we?

We are rather full, madam.

We must have a boot
cupboard or something.

Well, there's number 17.

Oh, yeah. That'll have to do.

Do you fancy a
nightcap, professor?

Yes. Oh, yes.

LOUISA: The way
I see it, Herbert...

Oh! That's my name.


Well, the way I see it,

love is necessary
to most people,

but, thank God, it's never
really been necessary to me.

I think it is necessary
in some lives.

If once you have it, worse...

It's better to frame
it, look back on it, then...

..fiddle about with
it once you've had it.

Your mentality
should control you.

It's easy to say.




At the end of the month,
I'm going to America

to lecture in Seattle.

Now, you must come with me, as... companion, fellow
traveler, nothing else.

An adventure.

What, leave the Bentinck?

For a while. Why not?

You've done all you can here.

Sopwith agrees with me.

Oh, him again.

Who is he?

A friend.

Now, I want you to
consider it most seriously.


It'll refresh you. I'm going to bed.


Starr! What?


Where do I go?

Starr! Yes, madam?

The professor is
going to bed now.

Uh...we'll discuss it
further in the morning.

Good night.

Good night, Herbert.


Shh! Shh!

TOMMY: Oh! Aah! What's that?

CHARLIE: Starr's
chair. Are you all right?

Yes. I banged my foot.
Is there a light in here?

Oh, yes. It's right here.

Oh! Oh...

Mustn't wake the ladies.

Disgrace. Always the same.

Mea culpa.

Tail between the legs.

Ooh...I owe you
some money, don't I?

Oh, it doesn't matter.

No, no. I'll try and
get it tomorrow

from Daphne, if I can.

- You coming up?
- In a moment. Good night.


Hello, Charlie.

Pardon me for not rising.

Well, come on in
if you're coming.

There's a bleedin' draft.

Mind the furniture.

You're drunk.

So are you.

Yeah, that's right.

Get yourself a glass
and pour us another.

What you been up to all evening?

I've been out with
Tommy Shepherd

and some friends of his.


..have you been
doing much of this...

..drinking alone?

Do you mean, have I
become an habitual sozzler?

Only when I feel
like it. Cheers.

Louisa, I don't like
seeing you in this state.

You should look
to yourself, my boy.

Louisa, who is this
professor of latin?


- Starr was telling me.
- Yeah, well, he shouldn't have.

Staff gossiping.
I'll have his guts.

It's not his fault. I asked him.

What's your interest?

It's natural I should
want to know...

about me love affairs?

If you're happy, that's all.

I'm quite happy,
thank you, Charlie.

Not with a professor of latin.

You can't be.

What a bloomin' cheek.

You come back
here after 18 months,

and you start throwing
your weight about?

I can't help it if I'm concerned.
I'm your oldest friend.

Not anymore, you're not.

You're a guest in this
hotel like any other,

and you got no rights
over me, Charlie,

so don't you try anything.

I refuse to listen
to such rubbish.

You can't sweep away the past,

all that's happened between us.

- Can't I?
- No, of course you can't.

Like it or not, we're part
of each other's lives...

..always will be.

We have a child to prove it.

I'm sorry. I didn't
mean to use that.

No, you'd better not.

All the same, she exists.

She's growing up. She's pretty.

- Don't you want to hear —
- No, I don't!

You just look to your own life.

You get that sorted out,
and don't use me or this place,

or anyone here
as an answer to your problems.

What do you mean?

- You know very well what I mean.
- Sorry, I've no idea.

Well, you're blind, then.

Your wife, that's what I mean.

That tense, strung-up
little thing upstairs.

Margaret? She's perfectly happy.

Well, she don't look it to me.

Oh, nonsense!

On the strength
of one tea party,

you write off my marriage?

I resent that, Louisa.

Right. Good. We
got that sorted out.

You look after your
life, I'll look after my life.

That's what we agreed on.

But not forever.

Yes, Charlie.

I might make it easy
for you, as it happens.

I might be going away.


Haven't made me mind up yet.

Well, where?

I might go to America.

What on earth for?

Well, what does anyone
go to America for?

Have a look at it, like
Christopher Columbus.

Oh, push off, will you, Charlie?

I've done enough
talking for one night.

Oh, come on.

Now? I say, must we?

Oh, yes, we'd better.

Come in.

Oh, it's you two.
What do you want?

We crave your
forgiveness, Mrs. Trotter.

Oh, yeah?

Yes. Our little joke... it
rather misfired, I'm afraid.

We didn't mean any harm.

Well, it come to no harm,

as it happened...
Luckily for you.

Oh, good.

In fact, I might have
cause to be grateful.


Tell me some more about
this professor of yours.

Well, there's not
much to tell, really.

You see, the reason we did it...

- We thought he needed a woman.
- Yes, that's right.

And the poor old fellow
spends all his days

wallowing in some of the
most erotic poetry in literature.

Passion literally
dripping from his lips,

but dried up and empty inside.

Rather lonely, actually.

We thought he needed a treat.

We thought of you.

Oh, that was thoughtful.

Naturally, we didn't
expect anything to happen.

Good Lord, no. It
was the last thing.

Sorry, ma'am, but Lady Haslemere

would like to see
you in her room,

if you're not too busy.

All right, Merriman.
I'll be up in a minute.

Very good, madam.

It's awfully good of
you to take it so well.

Yes, it is.


Here, just a moment.

Is there another don at
your college called Sopwith?




Mrs. Trotter, Charles
is being very stubborn.

There are a lot
of things here...

There is no question of anything
going anywhere Margaret.

I gave everything to
Louisa a long time ago

in payment of a debt.

A debt?

I don't mean money.

It was more of a gift.

I have no intention of
taking anything back now.

I don't remember
no gift, Charlie.


You just left 'em here
to be collected sometime.

That's not true.

You take what you
want. It's all replaceable.

- There, you see?
- Louisa!

Good-bye, Charlie.

Hurry up and get
dressed, darling.

We've got to see the
house and catch our train.

STARR: Good morning, professor.

Oh, good morning. Is Mrs., uh...

- Trotter.
- Yes. Is she about?

I expect she's in her parlor.

She usually is at
this time of day.

- Do you want to see her?
- No! Uh...

No, no, no.

As a matter of fact, I've just
been out to buy your book,

"The life and
works of Catullus."

- She requested it.
- Good God!

Did she really?

It's very fruity, you know.

I expect that's
why she wanted it.

You know Mrs. Trotter.

No, no, I don't. You
see, that's the point. I...

We were the victims
of a practical joke.

- Were you, sir?
- Yes.

And one says things...
in vino perditum...

And come the dawn,
you don't remember.

You don't remember a thing.


Ma'am, it's not true
that you're leaving, is it?


Violet just said she
heard Lord Haslemere

tell Lady Haslemere
while they were packing

that you were going to America.

Oh, blimey. Don't I
get no privacy here?

My home, it is.

You all treat it like
a bloomin' hotel.

Excuse me, madam.

Yes, Starr, what is it?

The professor asked
me to give you this.

Oh, yeah? Where is he?

He left.

"The Life and
Works of Catullus."

"Miser Catul..."

Here, I can't read latin.

He asked me to draw your
attention to the translation.

Poem 8, madam. Page
34, the first two lines.



Stubbs, voice-over:
"Poor Catullus,

"Leave off playing the fool

and give up as lost
what you see is lost."

Fond memories,
Herbert Sopwith Stubbs.

Oh, well.

There goes America.

Seems I'm stuck here for
the rest of me born days.

Well, there's some of
us that's quite pleased.

Oh, ma'am, and
about Mr. Sopwith...


I've gone through the books,
and I've asked Mr. Merriman,

who's usually got a very
good memory for names,

but we can't seem
to place him at all.

Do you think he exists?

Oh, yeah, he exists, Mary.

He's rather a retiring
sort of gentleman.


All right, Mary, don't worry.

Yes, ma'am.

Oh, my God.

Do you want subtitles for any video?
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