Effie Gray


Effie Gray

Drama based on a true story. When young Effie Gray becomes the wife of John Ruskin, it soon becomes apparent that Ruskin regards her as a muse rather than a wife.


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Transcript


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GIRL: 'Once, a beautiful young girl

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'lived in a very cold house in Scotland.

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'The house was cold

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'because someone's grandfather killed himself there.

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'One day, the grandson came to visit the house.

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'He thought the beautiful young girl was an angel come down to Earth.

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'The grandson worked very hard.

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'He read and thought and drew and wrote.

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'He wrote a fairy story just for her.

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'She was 12 years old.

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'Her mother and father were kind

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'but his were wicked.

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'When she grew up...

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'..he married her.'

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-You can't marry him!

-Why not, when I love him so much?

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-He's rich and famous and I'll never see you again.

-Oh, away with you!

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You'll come and stay in London. London, Sophie!

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I'm leaving dreary old Scotland at last and you'll follow.

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We'll go to parties in beautiful yellow dresses and we'll dance with

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musicians and poets and great artists

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-who will want to paint your picture.

-Really?

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Yes, really. It's going to be so exciting. Come on.

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-We need more leaves for our pillows.

-Can my dress be pink?

-Yes.

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-MAN:

-Nature must rule every stroke of your brush.

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Only by representing her as she truly is, selecting nothing,

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scorning nothing, will you reveal God's truth.

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To put it simply, gentlemen, paint what you see.

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Draw what you see.

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-MAN:

-Give thanks to the Lord for the gift of marriage.

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And we ask for God's grace that the marriage be enriched.

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And in the presence of God and before these witnesses,

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I now pronounce you man...

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..and wife.

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-Blessings to you both, sir.

-Thank you so much.

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My friends...

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..consider me a man who is not an artist

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but has nonetheless been granted a muse.

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Consider this man...

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the luckiest of mortals.

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Bound to you in spirit from this moment forth.

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Sophie!

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I shall see you in London.

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Goodbye.

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Do you know what has just occurred to me?

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This is the first time we've ever been entirely alone.

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Close your eyes.

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Perfect.

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HORSE WHINNIES

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-Here we are, sir.

-Thank you, Alfred.

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Welcome to Denmark Hill.

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No...

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Welcome home.

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Ah, George. There you are.

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Here is your new mistress.

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Don't be shy, take her by the hand.

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He is an excellent chap, full of wise saws.

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Tell her we're here, there's a good fellow.

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-My dearest boy!

-Congratulations!

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My darling boy, you're home at last.

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Welcome to the family.

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-How happy we are to see you wed at last.

-Thank you.

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I trust the journey was tolerable?

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The train journey was dreadfully long and draughty,

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but every discomfort forgot as soon as we got into your carriage.

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That is a most comfortable carriage, is it not? The best on the market.

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-Like a feather bed.

-Well, come through.

-John?

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Mrs Ruskin is just putting him into a bath.

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She's been aching to get her hands on him. Now, come through.

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-I should change.

-Yes, of course, but there's plenty of time for that.

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Now, come through and see this.

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Now, this was purchased in celebration of your nuptials.

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John's writing has made Mr Turner so celebrated.

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You know, this painting is already worth a great deal more.

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Bless, O Lord, this foison before us.

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Make us ever mindful of the wants and needs of others.

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Bless us all and keep us from harm, guide and direct us

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through all our days.

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And thank you, Lord,

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for delivering my heart's treasure safely back home.

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-Amen.

-Amen.

-Amen.

-Amen.

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You are well recovered, I hope, Mrs Ruskin.

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We missed you at the wedding.

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Yes, it was a shame you couldn't be there.

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Never mind, it's all over now.

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-You look a little thinner than last year, my dear.

-I've been ill.

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Father's difficulties have put a strain upon us all.

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Well, that strain has gone. You will never want for money again.

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You, however, my boy, are somewhat stouter than when you left.

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-The Scotch air must have done you good.

-Nonsense!

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One cannot be well in Scotland.

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Your cough will last you through the winter, will it not?

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I am much improved. And stronger.

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-I've even started painting again.

-John drew me constantly.

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He must have destroyed a fortune in paper and paint.

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Who would not with such a subject?

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For you, my dear, in welcome to our family.

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One of my favourite pieces.

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Which you may as well have now

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since it would in any case be left to you when I die.

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RUSKIN COUGHS

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There, there, there!

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Let HER.

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You know what mothers are like.

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-RUSKIN CLEARS HIS THROAT

-Take a sip.

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CROCKERY CLATTERS

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WOMAN: Good morning, madam.

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I trust you slept.

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What would you like?

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-Has everyone else already breakfasted?

-Oh, yes, madam.

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Seven o'clock every morning.

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I was not told.

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-I was so tired I did not hear John.

-Not to worry, madam.

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-Eggs?

-Thank you.

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-Oh, Anna?

-Yes, madam?

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Do you know where John...?

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..where Mr Ruskin is?

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Oh, he'll be working, madam.

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FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

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Effie... PENCIL FALLS

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John.

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I knew this must be where you work and I've...

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Sorry, I broke it.

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I can see. No matter.

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Did you sleep?

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I think you did.

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I watched you.

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Did you not sleep? You were so tired.

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I did.

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I did after a while.

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What shall we do?

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What do married people do?

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I have as little idea as you.

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But I think I must work, dearest.

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I shall sit with you and read, then.

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Dearest, you will be quite bored here.

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Why don't you go and find Mama?

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I think she needs help in the garden.

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CLIPPERS SNIPPING

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Good morning.

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Good morning, my child.

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I trust you slept?

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Well, thank you.

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And have you breakfasted?

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I have, thank you.

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-John said you needed help.

-Me? Oh, no, no, no.

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I never let anyone touch my roses, John knows that.

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Oh.

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Well, I shall go and help John.

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SHE SCOFFS

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Help him?!

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With his work.

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You cannot help him with his work.

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I can take notes.

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I can sharpen his pencils, I can...

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My dear...

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..you have married no ordinary man.

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And the best way, the only way,

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in which you can help him

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is by leaving him alone.

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Leaving him alone?

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But we're only just married.

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John being able to work undisturbed and unfettered

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affords him the best chance of establishing his name.

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And you, of course,

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want the best position in society that you can reach.

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Then what am I to do?

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Well, I've always found great comfort in my roses.

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And my Bible.

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'Sir, I believe these young artists to be

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'at a most critical period of their career, at a turning point

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'from which they may either sink into nothingness

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'or rise to very real greatness.

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'Their path will depend upon the character of the criticism

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'which their works have to sustain.'

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We'll be late.

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Marriage, dear boy, is all about learning how to wait.

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She's ready.

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Time for a little word, I think.

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MUFFLED DEBATE

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We're trying to find a...truth,

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and the simplicity from an earlier time...

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..an integrity that I think is lost now.

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MUFFLED CONVERSATION CONTINUES

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The general public...

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..we lead the Academy into disrepute.

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It must not and will not be allowed.

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There is no place, sir, no place for these offensive

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and deformed productions upon the hallowed walls

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-of this great institution.

-Gentlemen, please.

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If this most interesting discussion can continue at the table.

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Lady Eastlake.

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And I say that it is incumbent upon you, Sir Charles,

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as president of this academy, to protect us from this ugliness,

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the confusion.

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Take down the paintings before the opening, I implore you.

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Do not indulge them, sir.

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They are nothing more childish mountebanks and amateur...

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Remove them, sir. Remove them, they disgrace these walls.

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Gentlemen, please, please.

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Thank you.

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-Now...

-RUSKIN: What is the purpose of art?

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Well, really!

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What is the purpose of art?

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To idealise, to sentimentalise? No.

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-Of course not.

-The purpose of art is to reveal the truth.

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The purpose of art is to reveal God.

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And not through caricature.

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-Not through ugliness.

-Let him speak.

-There's the nub.

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-It should be through beauty.

-Let us hear what he has to say.

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If God is the creator of nature,

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then God is also the creator of decay, of disease, of ugliness.

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MURMURS OF DISAPPROVAL

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I-I cannot deny that Mr Hunt's Sylvia is not a person with whom Proteus

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or anyone else for that matter is likely to fall in love, but...

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LAUGHTER ..truthfulness, honesty,

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these are more important than mere conventional beauty.

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Do you understand? He was painting what he saw.

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But what do you see, Mr Ruskin?

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Tell us what you see.

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I see nothing less than eternal truths.

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I see God.

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And these men, these...

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..visionary men...

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..I see a school of art nobler than the world has produced in 300 years.

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SCOFFING AND MUTTERING Ridiculous!

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-They are imitators.

-Medieval copyists.

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-Mr Ruskin.

-..exactly what they are!

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Do you think their painting pleases God?

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All great art...

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..praises God.

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If his own nature pleases him, then it follows,

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so must we.

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I must confess to finding this addiction an antique style

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backward-looking.

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THEY CONTINUE TO ARGUE Well done, my dear.

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That was an interesting question and bravely spoken.

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Never mind God - what do you think of their daubs?

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I don't know what I think.

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-That's exactly what I see...

-I just like them.

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ARGUING CONTINUES

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-They make me feel happy.

-Do you know,

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I cannot remember the last time I felt happy in this place.

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Ghastly collection of self-congratulatory males.

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It was such a relief to hear an intelligent female voice.

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How do you do? I am Ef...

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-I mean, Mrs John Ruskin.

-I know who you are.

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But who are you when you are not Mrs John Ruskin? I am Elizabeth.

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I am Ef...

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-I mean, Euphemia.

-Sad business, isn't it?

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Having to lose your own name

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and then taking your husband's Christian name into the bargain.

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Fortunately, I do not have that cross to bear.

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Why is that?

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-Well...

-Lady Eastlake.

-Thank you.

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-Your husband is...

-President of the Academy, yes. Thank you.

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He absolutely hates the pictures, by the way,

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but he respects your husband's opinions, as I respect yours.

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You must have us to dine.

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Good, well, I shall hold you to it.

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It sounds as if it went well.

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As well as can be expected.

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-They have agreed to leave the paintings in place, at least.

-Oh!

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Lady Eastlake was so kind.

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And I didn't even know who she was at first.

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-Lady Eastlake?

-John, congratulations.

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You've won the fight.

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You must be proud, surely.

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I can scarcely tell.

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All I know for certain is it will take me three days to recover.

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There are so many demands on you from all sides, I'm sure.

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Everyone always wanting something.

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Intolerable for you, my darling.

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My heart's treasure. Come on.

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Oh, I forgot to say.

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Lady Eastlake has asked us to invite them to dine here.

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Dine here?

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The Eastlakes?

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John.

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Yes?

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We're not poor, are we?

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Poor?

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Not remotely.

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What on Earth made you ask?

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I'm just making sure of something.

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What's that mean?

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That we are not too poor to have children.

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You are but a child yourself yet.

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I am not.

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I am not a child.

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I am a married woman.

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-And when we live together as husband and wife...

-We are husband and wife.

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I know, but alone.

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I know I shall love to keep house for you,

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our own house,

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with a good-sized nursery,

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in town, to attain some hold of good society.

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I'll be in charge of all our domestic matters.

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I'll become the wife that you desire.

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FABRIC TEARS

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Can I help you, madam?

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Yes, Anna, thank you.

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I was looking for needle and thread for John's shirt.

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-It needs mending.

-Oh, I'm sorry, madam.

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I don't know how I could have missed that.

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-Leave it here, I'll do it right aways.

-I will do it.

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Madam, it has always been my job to do young Mr Ruskin's mending.

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Not any more.

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I am his wife.

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I shall look after his things.

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-I...

-Thank you, Anna.

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As you wish, madam.

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FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

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DOOR BANGS

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Ah, my dear.

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I'm quite an expert mender.

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John's shirt will be as good as new.

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If Mama ever needed anything mending, socks, baby's napkins,

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I was always the one she asked.

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John does not wear baby's napkins.

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No.

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I know that.

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-Of course not, I just meant...

-My dear, I'm sure you mean well...

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but do not insult us by suggesting

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that we would make our son wear darned socks.

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You forget where you are.

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No, of course not. Forgive me.

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And you forget who you are.

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Anna!

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Argh!

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John?

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Mrs Ruskin says you should take this.

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-What is it?

-Messes.

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She swears by it.

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What's in it?

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I do not know, madam.

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She means to poison me.

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I will not take it.

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Mrs Ruskin was most determined.

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Lady Eastlake, Sir Charles.

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You honour us.

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I have been trying unsuccessfully to congratulate your son

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on his wonderful new writings.

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Which are no more than a wretched rant.

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And of course, John,

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we're here to congratulate you on your fascinating new wife.

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Well, new to me at any rate. Where is she?

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Did I shock her so profoundly when we first met?

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Would you excuse me?

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Of course.

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Why is she not dressed?

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You will get up and dress - now!

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I'm ill. My head.

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You are not ill, you are just peevish.

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You've had your medicine, now get up.

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She will be dressed and downstairs in five minutes

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or I will want to know the reason why.

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DOOR SLAMS

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DISTANT CHATTER AND LAUGHTER

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Ah, Euphemia, there you are.

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My dear girl, what on Earth is the matter? You're white to the teeth.

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No.

0:30:400:30:42

Indeed I am very well.

0:30:420:30:43

Come, sit down.

0:30:450:30:47

Sir Charles was just telling us about the excellent response

0:30:490:30:52

to John's new book, Euphemia.

0:30:520:30:54

Do continue, Sir Charles.

0:30:540:30:56

Well, as I say, the reaction's been overwhelming.

0:30:560:30:59

It's been called the greatest teacher of our day.

0:30:590:31:02

Forgive me, Charles, but this girl does not need to hear about

0:31:020:31:06

her husband's triumph just now,

0:31:060:31:08

what she needs is a cup of beef tea and bed.

0:31:080:31:10

Do you think so?

0:31:100:31:12

Euphemia, dear, are you so very ill?

0:31:120:31:14

If you'll excuse me. Come, come. Come.

0:31:220:31:26

It's just a headache, your ladyship.

0:31:350:31:37

I'm so very sorry.

0:31:370:31:38

It is just the married life more like.

0:31:380:31:41

Tell me, Effie...

0:31:420:31:45

do you have anyone to talk to?

0:31:450:31:46

I keep thinking I've made a terrible mistake.

0:31:490:31:51

I thought so too at the beginning of my marriage.

0:31:550:31:58

Beginnings are always difficult, my dear.

0:32:000:32:03

But we have not yet begun.

0:32:030:32:05

They won't let us.

0:32:050:32:07

You will not always live here.

0:32:070:32:10

This is a temporary arrangement, surely.

0:32:100:32:12

They want him here, I'm sure of that.

0:32:120:32:15

They've always had him to themselves.

0:32:150:32:19

Did you know that they would not even let him play

0:32:190:32:21

with other children when he was little?

0:32:210:32:23

She took rooms near him at university

0:32:230:32:25

and they saw each other everyday.

0:32:250:32:28

She'll never let him away from her.

0:32:280:32:30

My dear child, it is unreasonable

0:32:310:32:34

for the pair of you not to have a home of your own.

0:32:340:32:37

-Thank you for being so kind to me.

-Oh, there, there now.

0:32:380:32:41

You are a strong, wise girl and you will bear up.

0:32:410:32:45

But I must ask you to banish all thoughts

0:32:450:32:48

of having made a mistake from your mind.

0:32:480:32:50

But what if I have?

0:32:500:32:52

Then I'm sorry to say, my dear,

0:32:530:32:54

it is a mistake you will have to live with, there is no going back.

0:32:540:32:59

No.

0:32:590:33:01

No, of course not.

0:33:010:33:03

Of course...

0:33:050:33:07

you know what will set everything to rights quite naturally.

0:33:070:33:11

Children.

0:33:110:33:13

They are the glue that binds all marriages.

0:33:130:33:16

-Can you ever forgive me?

-Of course.

0:33:250:33:29

But if you ever take me there again, I'll have you thrown in the Thames.

0:33:290:33:32

LADY EASTLAKE LAUGHS

0:33:320:33:36

Hup!

0:33:370:33:39

DOOR OPENS

0:33:520:33:54

Your poor mother is in floods!

0:34:010:34:03

There was nothing I could do.

0:34:030:34:05

God knows we have protected you with every sinew in our bodies

0:34:050:34:09

from childhood, from all the obstructions that

0:34:090:34:11

might've prevented your unique talent from emerging to the full!

0:34:110:34:14

And you succeeded.

0:34:140:34:16

And every talent, however unique, needs its patrons

0:34:160:34:19

and tonight, for the first time...

0:34:190:34:22

..the president of the academy himself,

0:34:240:34:26

the greatest patron any man of the arts could wish for,

0:34:260:34:30

graces our house...

0:34:300:34:32

Your wife is unable or unwilling to make the effort required

0:34:320:34:37

to make it a success.

0:34:370:34:39

Well, careers have foundered on less, John!

0:34:390:34:42

I'm sorry to be a disappointment to you both.

0:34:420:34:45

You were warned about that girl,

0:34:530:34:55

yet you chose to follow your own path.

0:34:550:34:58

Well, it's up to you to ensure that this does not lead to

0:34:580:35:01

the destruction of everything we have wished for you.

0:35:010:35:05

-You look sad. You didn't actually want coffee, did you?

-No!

0:35:120:35:16

No, no, it was just...

0:35:160:35:18

It's that poor child I was interested in seeing and she's not happy.

0:35:180:35:23

No more were you at the beginning.

0:35:230:35:26

That's exactly what I told her.

0:35:260:35:28

-Very grim you were.

-Well, you were pompous.

-True.

0:35:280:35:31

-And distant.

-Mm.

0:35:310:35:32

This is...something more complicated.

0:35:350:35:39

Somehow she has to get him away from their clutches.

0:35:390:35:44

-My heavens, you make them sound like dragons in a fairytale.

-Do I?

0:35:440:35:47

I don't mean to but...

0:35:470:35:49

perhaps that's not so far from the truth.

0:35:490:35:52

What was it he was saying to you about Venice?

0:35:520:35:55

Well, he's not taking his parents, I hope.

0:35:550:35:58

THEY LAUGH

0:35:580:36:01

John...

0:36:270:36:29

thank you for bringing us here.

0:36:290:36:31

Lady Eastlake told me I will answer to her for...

0:36:480:36:52

SHE SPEAKS ITALIAN

0:36:520:36:54

We are to look after you.

0:36:540:36:57

Essato.

0:36:570:36:58

-Grazie, thank you sir.

-You are most kind, Contessa.

0:36:580:37:01

Oh, not kind.

0:37:010:37:04

It's not often that you have new blood here.

0:37:040:37:07

I'm going to send letters.

0:37:070:37:10

You'd be invited to every party.

0:37:100:37:13

I can see...

0:37:140:37:17

you don't like party.

0:37:170:37:19

I am in Venice to work.

0:37:190:37:22

To write a new book.

0:37:220:37:24

I detest parties.

0:37:240:37:26

In fact, it is impossible for me to go into company without injury.

0:37:260:37:30

My wife will be the hostess for them.

0:37:310:37:34

-No.

-No?

0:37:430:37:44

Perfetto.

0:37:590:38:00

What? What's everyone saying?

0:38:000:38:02

They are saying that your husband disapproves of pleasure

0:38:040:38:07

but that you do not.

0:38:070:38:09

CHURCH BELLS RING

0:38:130:38:15

LAUGHTER

0:38:180:38:21

Say you would like to buy some cheese.

0:38:230:38:26

Vorrei comprare del formaggio.

0:38:260:38:28

Vorrei comprare del formaggio.

0:38:280:38:30

-Brava.

-Wonderful.

0:38:300:38:33

Your accent is divine. Say it again.

0:38:330:38:36

Vorrei comprare del formaggio.

0:38:360:38:39

Again, again.

0:38:390:38:40

Vorrei comprare del formaggio.

0:38:400:38:43

E meravigliosa, eh, mamma?

0:38:430:38:45

Grazie.

0:39:000:39:01

Eh? Ah, si.

0:39:030:39:05

Up you go.

0:39:330:39:34

Not one eye,

0:39:490:39:52

lifted to this splendour.

0:39:520:39:54

Look at this.

0:39:570:39:58

It is like the wind itself could have chiselled it.

0:39:590:40:03

Look how tenderly...

0:40:030:40:04

And that one...

0:40:050:40:06

..is utterly different to this one.

0:40:080:40:10

-The variety itself is joyful, is it not?

-Yes.

0:40:100:40:13

Well, look down there.

0:40:140:40:16

What do you see?

0:40:170:40:18

It's very beautiful...

0:40:200:40:21

..but in a regular way.

0:40:230:40:25

A uniform way.

0:40:260:40:28

It's like a world where all the trees are the same shape,

0:40:280:40:31

all the clouds the same size

0:40:310:40:33

and all the people say the same thing, over and over again.

0:40:330:40:36

It's perfectly executed, but...

0:40:380:40:40

..entirely devoid of this...

0:40:410:40:43

..beautiful imperfection.

0:40:440:40:46

If imperfection is your ideal...

0:40:480:40:49

..then you must think me very beautiful.

0:40:510:40:53

BELL TOLLS

0:40:550:40:58

DOOR OPENS

0:41:270:41:29

DOOR CREAKS

0:41:330:41:34

Look what I found.

0:42:010:42:02

Over half a life ago.

0:42:080:42:09

Do you remember?

0:42:110:42:12

'Why is she turning into a tree?'

0:42:200:42:22

She is the nymph, Daphne.

0:42:240:42:27

He is the god, Apollo.

0:42:270:42:30

He wants her, with an overwhelming desire.

0:42:300:42:33

He wants to possess her purity...

0:42:330:42:35

..but she does not want him...

0:42:360:42:38

..and turns herself into a laurel tree, in order to escape.

0:42:400:42:43

That's a clever trick.

0:42:430:42:46

It is. Nymphs are very clever.

0:42:460:42:48

VOICES CHATTER

0:43:090:43:12

LAUGHTER

0:43:160:43:18

It's much more difficult than it looks.

0:43:360:43:39

Help me.

0:43:440:43:45

No, don't.

0:43:450:43:46

You're already working?

0:44:090:44:10

Of course.

0:44:100:44:11

Did you enjoy the ball?

0:44:130:44:14

I did.

0:44:140:44:16

I danced and danced.

0:44:160:44:19

You bloom...

0:44:190:44:20

I would perish.

0:44:200:44:22

What will your book say?

0:44:300:44:32

It will say that Venice was once the most glorious...

0:44:360:44:40

truest...

0:44:400:44:42

most chaste pearl...

0:44:420:44:44

..like Adam's Eve.

0:44:450:44:47

But that now she has fallen from that grace

0:44:470:44:50

and her dissipation and corruption...

0:44:500:44:53

almost complete.

0:44:530:44:54

What do you mean?

0:44:570:44:58

I mean that once, she was a virgin...

0:44:590:45:02

..and now, she is a harlot,

0:45:030:45:05

addicted to nothing but pleasure and the voluptuousness.

0:45:050:45:09

A beautiful harlot...

0:45:090:45:11

..but a harlot, nonetheless.

0:45:120:45:14

You see that?

0:46:330:46:35

They are talking about us.

0:46:350:46:38

I call them "the whisperers".

0:46:380:46:39

Our dancing will be all the news on the Rialto this morning.

0:46:430:46:47

I hope your husband is prepared.

0:46:480:46:50

My husband cannot hear whispers -

0:46:500:46:53

he is so far above them.

0:46:530:46:55

And I never forget my duty to him, not for an instant.

0:46:550:46:59

Anyway...

0:46:590:47:01

I have no talent whatever for intrigue.

0:47:010:47:03

No...

0:47:310:47:33

Bien.

0:47:340:47:36

No.

0:47:490:47:51

No!

0:47:510:47:53

No, stop, stop...

0:47:530:47:55

HE BREATHES HEAVILY

0:47:580:48:00

THUD

0:48:120:48:13

SHE GASPS

0:48:130:48:15

Let's play.

0:48:190:48:21

Effie!

0:48:320:48:34

SHE PANTS

0:49:220:49:24

Are you back already?

0:49:400:49:41

Yes.

0:49:420:49:44

I was tired.

0:49:440:49:46

Why don't you lie down?

0:49:460:49:48

I will.

0:49:490:49:51

BELLS TOLL AND ECHO

0:50:020:50:05

EFFIE SCREAMS

0:50:300:50:31

Mr Ruskin?

0:50:530:50:56

Do you by any chance happen to know

0:50:560:50:57

what was in that treatment of your mother's?

0:50:570:51:00

I do not. She swears by them, always has done.

0:51:000:51:03

Mm-hmm. Well, I think there's laudanum in them -

0:51:030:51:06

it's a perfectly sensible treatment.

0:51:060:51:08

But in this case...

0:51:090:51:11

How long has she been unwell for?

0:51:160:51:19

Almost constantly.

0:51:190:51:21

A never-ending succession of minor ailments.

0:51:210:51:24

This particular one...

0:51:250:51:28

came to a head a few months ago.

0:51:280:51:31

Came to a head? And how was it manifested?

0:51:310:51:34

Hysteria, seeing things...

0:51:340:51:36

..growing upon her person.

0:51:380:51:40

Such as?

0:51:400:51:41

Mere phantasms of a disordered brain, doctor, I hardly think...

0:51:410:51:44

Nevertheless, such as?

0:51:440:51:45

Organic matter.

0:51:470:51:49

Bark.

0:51:500:51:52

Tree bark?

0:51:520:51:53

Just so.

0:51:530:51:54

Interesting.

0:51:540:51:56

Well, it's undoubtedly a nervous complaint.

0:51:570:52:01

That would account for the hair loss.

0:52:010:52:03

Hair loss?

0:52:030:52:05

Have you not noticed?

0:52:050:52:06

Here...

0:52:080:52:09

..and here.

0:52:120:52:13

I recommend the following -

0:52:180:52:19

fresh air, exercise,

0:52:190:52:21

a wholesome environment...

0:52:210:52:23

Perhaps away from the influence of the elder Mrs Ruskin.

0:52:230:52:27

She's Scottish by birth, I hear?

0:52:280:52:31

Aha. Well, perhaps sometime in her native land might be beneficial.

0:52:330:52:37

I prescribe...

0:52:380:52:40

An iron tonic for her...

0:52:400:52:43

-..and for you...

-There's nothing wrong with me.

0:52:430:52:45

For you,

0:52:450:52:46

I prescribe a sharper eye and a keener ear.

0:52:460:52:49

In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with your wife...

0:52:510:52:54

..that simple love and attention will not cure.

0:52:550:52:58

SHE GASPS

0:53:460:53:48

THUNDER ROLLS

0:53:590:54:03

What are you looking at?

0:54:390:54:41

Nothing.

0:54:430:54:44

What are you thinking of, then?

0:54:470:54:50

A great many things.

0:54:520:54:53

I was thinking of dancing...

0:54:580:55:02

and excitement.

0:55:020:55:04

And a great many things.

0:55:070:55:09

THUNDER ROLLS

0:55:110:55:14

Wh...?

0:55:390:55:40

SHE PANTS

0:55:400:55:42

Ooh, Mr Millais. Hello.

0:56:130:56:15

I've not seen you grace these halls for some time.

0:56:150:56:18

Are you well? You ought to be

0:56:180:56:20

and I feel great success for which may I congratulate you heartily?

0:56:200:56:25

Thank you, Your Ladyship. I am thriving.

0:56:250:56:28

-Thriving and painting?

-Oh, yes. In fact, I'm recently commissioned.

0:56:280:56:31

-Oh, good, that is good.

-It is.

0:56:310:56:34

I'm proud to say that I'm to paint our champion himself.

0:56:340:56:38

-I'm to paint Mr Ruskin.

-Mr Ruskin? Really?

0:56:380:56:41

I can hardly believe my luck.

0:56:410:56:43

-We are to depart for Scotland shortly.

-Scotland?

0:56:430:56:46

-Yes, his wife is from there, you know?

-I did know, I did know, yes.

0:56:460:56:50

-How is she?

-Well.

0:56:500:56:52

At least I do not know,

0:56:520:56:54

I believe we are to go there for the sake of her health.

0:56:540:56:57

Scotland?

0:56:590:57:01

Ah.

0:58:140:58:16

Get ready.

0:58:160:58:17

Oh, damn.

0:58:190:58:21

Fear not, brave companions. Breakfast is at hand.

0:58:250:58:31

-Don't move.

-What?

-No, no, I mean it, don't move.

0:58:320:58:37

That light. That's the light I want.

0:58:380:58:42

I'm not posing in the middle of a Scottish loch, Everett.

0:58:430:58:46

No, but that angle, exactly that angle and water

0:58:460:58:50

and exactly that light.

0:58:500:58:52

Excellent. Can I put my shoes on now?

0:58:530:58:57

You may.

0:58:570:58:58

It really is very good of you to come, Everett. You've no idea.

0:59:020:59:07

Perhaps you have. You can see.

0:59:090:59:12

Good of me?

0:59:150:59:17

But for your belief in me, I'd still be starving in my garret.

0:59:170:59:21

Added to which, your father is paying me handsomely for this.

0:59:210:59:25

THEY CHUCKLE

0:59:250:59:27

Euclid, Everett?

0:59:310:59:33

Essential.

0:59:340:59:36

You will start by reading him and then we will further your study.

0:59:360:59:39

KNOCK AT DOOR

0:59:390:59:41

-Ah, Mr McPhail.

-Heard you want this?

-Thank you. Everett.

0:59:470:59:50

-Let joy be unconfined.

-There's the post. Now lunch.

-Thank you.

0:59:520:59:57

Not as white as I'd hoped but...

1:00:071:00:10

it will do.

1:00:101:00:11

Shall we?

1:00:141:00:15

Lunch first. Aren't you hungry?

1:00:151:00:18

What is wrong?

1:00:371:00:38

You've had some bad news?

1:00:401:00:42

My poor mother.

1:00:451:00:47

She has lost a child.

1:00:491:00:51

Her seventh.

1:00:531:00:54

I do not know how she bears it.

1:00:571:00:59

I'm so sorry.

1:01:021:01:04

I need to lay out the lunch.

1:01:091:01:11

-How is Effie?

-I think she is improving.

1:01:271:01:31

The air and the exercise are doing her good.

1:01:311:01:34

-I mean has she recovered from the news?

-What news?

1:01:341:01:38

The loss of the child.

1:01:391:01:41

Child? What child?

1:01:411:01:42

Mrs Gray, her mother, the loss of her child.

1:01:421:01:46

She's lost another, then?

1:01:471:01:49

-What is that now? Five?

-Seven.

1:01:491:01:52

Seven? Dear me.

1:01:521:01:54

Did Effie not say?

1:01:591:02:00

Her mother loses children with such ghastly regularity,

1:02:001:02:03

I think she realises it would hardly register with me.

1:02:031:02:06

-That's a little harsh, surely?

-Not at all.

1:02:061:02:10

The woman is positively barnyard in her breeding habits,

1:02:101:02:13

she can hardly expect them all to survive.

1:02:131:02:15

Look at that exquisite leafage.

1:02:171:02:21

You'll need to be on your highest mettle, Everett, to capture that.

1:02:221:02:27

EVERETT CHUCKLES

1:02:341:02:37

What?

1:02:371:02:38

You realise I can open the window, close the curtain

1:02:381:02:41

and wash without getting out of bed?

1:02:411:02:44

It's like living in a snuffbox.

1:02:441:02:46

-Do you hear, John?

-Should we start out early, Everett?

1:02:471:02:51

Everett?

1:02:551:02:56

Yes. Yes, first thing.

1:02:581:03:00

I can't go on, my fingers are refusing to bend.

1:03:071:03:11

Come on. Let me help.

1:03:111:03:13

I've not done two inches of work.

1:03:151:03:17

DOOR OPENS

1:03:431:03:45

Where's Everett?

1:03:541:03:56

He was just behind me. He fell.

1:03:581:04:01

-What happened?

-I slipped off the boat.

1:04:261:04:29

Let's go and have a look.

1:04:291:04:31

I can't break my nose.

1:04:311:04:33

-Am I hurting you?

-No.

1:04:391:04:42

No, not at all.

1:04:421:04:43

-Why can't you have a broken nose?

-What?

1:04:481:04:52

You said, "I cannot have a broken nose" outside.

1:04:531:04:57

Did I?

1:04:571:04:59

How odd of me.

1:04:591:05:00

But it's only because I use my own face as a model all the time.

1:05:021:05:08

It's cheaper than hiring someone so...

1:05:081:05:11

my nose is quite useful.

1:05:111:05:15

And you need it to smell things with.

1:05:181:05:20

That too, of course.

1:05:241:05:25

SPLASHING

1:06:051:06:07

WIND HOWLS

1:06:571:07:00

There.

1:07:081:07:10

No more.

1:07:101:07:12

The secret is to know when to stop.

1:07:121:07:14

That is exquisite.

1:07:171:07:19

Don't tease.

1:07:191:07:22

I would resent such a talent if you were not so...

1:07:221:07:26

angelic.

1:07:261:07:27

Your nose is perfect again.

1:07:371:07:39

HE CHUCKLES

1:07:391:07:41

Please do not remind me of my inexcusable self-regard.

1:07:411:07:44

Finished.

1:08:071:08:08

My Edinburgh lectures.

1:08:111:08:13

She won't want to come, truly.

1:08:221:08:25

It would bore her.

1:08:261:08:28

Anyway, I'll only be gone for a few days.

1:08:281:08:30

Edinburgh is but a stone's throw.

1:08:301:08:32

But are you not anxious about leaving her alone?

1:08:321:08:34

Why, where are you going?

1:08:341:08:36

I'm not going anywhere.

1:08:361:08:38

Well, then she won't be alone.

1:08:381:08:39

John, you can't leave her on her own with me.

1:08:391:08:42

Yes, I realise it's a bore, Everett.

1:08:421:08:44

No, not at all. I'm talking about the impropriety.

1:08:441:08:47

Oh, for heaven's sake. Look, have Mrs McPhail to stay then,

1:08:471:08:50

if you're worried the locals will take offence.

1:08:501:08:52

I'm not worried about the locals!

1:08:521:08:55

John, you seem to pay no mind to the safety of your wife's reputation.

1:08:551:09:00

To leave her entirely alone with another man...

1:09:001:09:04

A single man.

1:09:041:09:05

I'd have loved this when I was little.

1:10:151:10:18

It was all so flat where I grew up.

1:10:181:10:21

Did you love it very much?

1:10:211:10:23

I did.

1:10:231:10:25

Do you see that little thorn tree?

1:10:271:10:29

Fairies live under those trees. My mother told me.

1:10:311:10:35

I believed her absolutely.

1:10:351:10:37

I'd take my breakfast out and leave it for them.

1:10:371:10:40

And of course in the morning it was always eaten,

1:10:401:10:43

by a fox or some such,

1:10:431:10:44

which only went to prove their existence further.

1:10:441:10:46

One Christmas my mother cooked a ham.

1:10:481:10:51

I felt the fairies should have some

1:10:511:10:53

so I went to the pantry to cut a slice and I couldn't manage it.

1:10:531:10:57

And so I just took the entire hock.

1:10:571:10:59

I was found out, of course and...

1:11:011:11:03

..that was the end of the fairies.

1:11:041:11:05

But happiness for the foxes.

1:11:051:11:07

Over 1,000 at every lecture.

1:12:051:12:07

It was a huge success.

1:12:071:12:09

But the price was crippling headaches.

1:12:091:12:12

I hope Effie was not too trying for you.

1:12:241:12:26

Of course not.

1:12:261:12:28

Women should depend on themselves for engrossing employment.

1:12:291:12:33

Rather than constantly craving companionship and attention.

1:12:331:12:37

EVERETT PUTS HIS CUTLERY DOWN

1:12:371:12:40

Excuse me.

1:12:421:12:43

DOOR OPENS AND WIND HOWLS

1:12:521:12:55

DOOR CLOSES

1:12:551:12:58

DOOR OPENS

1:13:021:13:05

Where have you been?

1:13:261:13:28

I ran.

1:13:281:13:30

Ran where?

1:13:301:13:32

Anywhere.

1:13:321:13:34

Wherever my feet took me.

1:13:341:13:35

For heaven's sake, you must change your clothes.

1:13:391:13:42

You will make yourself sick.

1:13:421:13:44

I am sick.

1:13:441:13:45

I'm sickened by him.

1:13:461:13:48

I don't... I don't know how you bear it.

1:13:481:13:51

I cannot bear to witness any more of your torture

1:13:541:13:56

when I cannot stop it, when I cannot do anything.

1:13:561:13:58

Tell me, Effie, what am I supposed to do?

1:13:581:14:00

What can I do?

1:14:001:14:01

Please.

1:14:041:14:05

There is nothing to be done.

1:14:081:14:09

JOHN SNORES LIGHTLY

1:14:181:14:21

We will return to London.

1:15:321:15:34

The Venice engravings for my book are ready.

1:15:341:15:37

I cannot go back.

1:15:381:15:40

We will leave on Monday.

1:15:401:15:41

I cannot go back.

1:15:431:15:45

The pains of eternal torment could be no worse

1:15:511:15:54

than returning to Denmark Hill with you.

1:15:541:15:57

I did not ask your opinion,

1:15:581:15:59

I merely informed you of our leaving.

1:15:591:16:01

I cannot go back.

1:16:031:16:05

Do not think for a moment that your behaviour here

1:16:051:16:08

has escaped my attention. It has not.

1:16:081:16:11

I have seen what you try to hide.

1:16:111:16:13

Do you really want to lose your reputation in the world?

1:16:141:16:17

You would make a great piece of work for your bankrupt father.

1:16:171:16:21

Do not push me any further, Euphemia,

1:16:231:16:27

for your own sake.

1:16:271:16:29

I hate you.

1:16:341:16:36

WHISPERING: He's been listening, he's been watching.

1:16:521:16:55

He knows.

1:16:551:16:56

Does he mean to ruin me? To compromise me?

1:16:561:17:00

I can never visit you in Denmark Hill.

1:17:021:17:04

You need to have someone with you.

1:17:071:17:10

Can you think of anyone?

1:17:101:17:11

I don't know.

1:17:121:17:14

Perhaps my sister, Sophie.

1:17:151:17:17

Her visit would not arouse suspicion.

1:17:181:17:20

Then you must arrange it.

1:17:201:17:22

Mr McPhail, we are ready.

1:17:281:17:30

Aye. Ready, sir.

1:17:301:17:31

Everett, would you help my wife?

1:17:381:17:39

THEY SLURP

1:18:131:18:16

Don't do that, dear.

1:18:261:18:29

Makes you sound like an imbecile.

1:18:301:18:32

Well, the New Year is upon us,

1:18:391:18:40

and we have yet to receive Mr Millais' portrait.

1:18:401:18:44

I think in January, I may find some time to sit for him.

1:18:441:18:48

All right, no matter, I am but truly eager to see it.

1:18:481:18:51

Perhaps, my dear, you can mention it next time you write to him.

1:18:511:18:56

I do not write to him.

1:19:001:19:02

Ah.

1:19:111:19:12

Aha.

1:19:141:19:15

This is a new addition to our cellar, my dear.

1:19:151:19:18

I thought we'd better start to educate our palettes

1:19:221:19:25

to the nuances of the German wines before our trip.

1:19:251:19:29

My boy.

1:19:291:19:30

We're going on a trip?

1:19:301:19:33

We are all going.

1:19:331:19:35

I am to come?

1:19:351:19:37

But no-one said...

1:19:371:19:39

Let us not start discussing something that was settled months ago.

1:19:391:19:42

I don't know why you feel Sophie needs to see the sights in town.

1:20:141:20:18

What on Earth's wrong with Peckham?

1:20:181:20:20

She said she wanted to see St Paul's.

1:20:201:20:22

-No, I didn't.

-Ssh!

1:20:241:20:26

She might hear you.

1:20:261:20:28

HORSEMAN: Ya!

1:20:281:20:30

We're going to see a friend of mine.

1:20:371:20:39

Everett?

1:20:401:20:42

What have they said of him?

1:20:431:20:45

Nothing.

1:20:451:20:46

John just said that you've made Everett unhappy.

1:20:461:20:50

Just as you've made him unhappy.

1:20:501:20:52

Who is Everett?

1:20:541:20:56

A friend.

1:20:571:20:58

-But not the friend we're going to see.

-Sophie...

1:20:581:21:01

please.

1:21:011:21:03

HORSES NEIGH

1:21:051:21:07

Yeah, I'll have one.

1:21:071:21:09

DISTANT BELL RINGING

1:21:091:21:12

Here, you too!

1:21:161:21:17

But John must have talked to you, surely, he must have...

1:21:291:21:33

Let me understand you, you are telling me that...

1:21:391:21:43

you still, to this day, do not...

1:21:431:21:47

understand the...

1:21:471:21:49

details of the most intimate relation within marriage?

1:21:491:21:52

-You have not experienced them?

-He has never so much as touched me.

1:21:521:21:57

Never made me his wife.

1:21:571:22:01

Because he was disgusted...

1:22:011:22:03

with my body that first evening.

1:22:031:22:06

After that, he said we should wait until I was 25.

1:22:091:22:12

By then, he said that I'd professed such a dislike for him that it would be a sin

1:22:121:22:17

and an even further sin to have children.

1:22:171:22:21

Because I was wicked.

1:22:211:22:23

And probably insane.

1:22:231:22:25

Oh...

1:22:261:22:27

LADY EASTLAKE SIGHS Um...

1:22:291:22:31

And he... LADY EASTLAKE CLEARS HER THROAT

1:22:321:22:34

..has never after that moment...

1:22:341:22:37

sought relations?

1:22:371:22:40

Never.

1:22:401:22:41

I have never, I've never heard of such cruelty. The man must be...

1:22:431:22:47

If he has not made you his wife physically, then I should think

1:22:551:23:00

that you are not his wife.

1:23:001:23:02

But I have no knowledge of such matters,

1:23:021:23:04

I will make enquiries, legal and social. Discreetly, of course.

1:23:041:23:09

I would implore you not to have a scene with him just yet.

1:23:091:23:13

I must have read all his books,

1:23:151:23:16

and I've always thought him quite the eccentric, but now...

1:23:161:23:19

Most peculiar.

1:23:221:23:23

I'm perfectly thunderstruck.

1:23:241:23:26

You may sit up, Mrs Ruskin.

1:23:281:23:31

He must be mad.

1:23:341:23:36

Oh.

1:23:391:23:40

Who's that from?

1:23:411:23:43

Effie.

1:23:461:23:47

My dear, there's nothing more you can do.

1:23:561:23:59

You must let events take their course now.

1:23:591:24:01

Do come in.

1:24:051:24:07

Please, sit down.

1:24:091:24:10

Forgive me.

1:24:131:24:14

I have Dr Lee's report here.

1:24:201:24:25

You say he told you he thinks your husband mad.

1:24:251:24:30

Interesting, but madness, unfortunately,

1:24:311:24:36

is not sufficient grounds for divorce.

1:24:361:24:39

If it were,

1:24:391:24:40

half the marriages in London would be in jeopardy.

1:24:401:24:44

But, the crux is this...

1:24:481:24:52

"We found the usual signs of virginity are perfect.

1:24:521:24:59

"And that she is naturally and properly formed."

1:24:591:25:05

So...

1:25:071:25:09

there we have it.

1:25:091:25:10

I must say, in all my years...

1:25:101:25:13

It is an unprecedented case, Mrs Ruskin,

1:25:151:25:18

but I'm certain we can receive an annulment of your marriage

1:25:181:25:22

on the grounds of non-consummation.

1:25:221:25:25

However, we must be circumspect.

1:25:251:25:30

Best to keep away from your husband as much as you can to prevent...

1:25:301:25:35

Prevent what?

1:25:351:25:37

Let us just say,

1:25:371:25:39

do not make more than a usual effort to encourage...

1:25:391:25:45

relations.

1:25:451:25:47

-You spend a great deal of time writing.

-I do, my angel, I do.

1:25:531:25:57

I have written two books about modern painting.

1:26:011:26:06

One about architecture.

1:26:061:26:08

And this one.

1:26:091:26:11

About Venice.

1:26:121:26:14

It's a very big book.

1:26:231:26:25

And then I shall write a book so big...

1:26:261:26:30

..and it will be all about your sister's conduct.

1:26:321:26:36

About her wickedness.

1:26:361:26:38

But don't tell her.

1:26:391:26:41

For then she would hate you.

1:26:411:26:43

Let it be our little secret.

1:26:451:26:47

Do not worry, lambkin.

1:27:101:27:12

It doesn't hurt.

1:27:121:27:14

Ah...

1:27:171:27:18

Thank you, George.

1:27:221:27:23

Um...

1:27:251:27:27

FOOTSTEPS

1:27:271:27:29

George!

1:27:291:27:30

What in God's name have you done?

1:27:451:27:47

I have done nothing.

1:27:471:27:49

Tidy yourself up this instant before my mother sees you.

1:27:501:27:54

I will not.

1:27:551:27:57

You disgust me.

1:28:011:28:02

I have had a letter.

1:28:041:28:05

From mother.

1:28:071:28:09

She misses Sophie too much and asks me to return her to Scotland.

1:28:101:28:15

Then I suggest you start packing.

1:28:151:28:17

What does Mama say?

1:28:241:28:25

It is not from Mama.

1:28:281:28:31

Now go have one last look in your room to make sure nothing is forgotten.

1:28:591:29:03

Thank you, George.

1:29:181:29:19

I wish you happiness, ma'am.

1:29:201:29:22

A great collection of bags for a short visit.

1:29:241:29:27

-George, you will not tell.

-It's John, actually.

1:29:291:29:33

FOOTSTEPS

1:29:331:29:34

-Where is Sophie?

-She's upstairs.

1:29:341:29:37

We can't have two Johns in the house,

1:29:391:29:41

so the master chose George for me.

1:29:411:29:44

I didn't mind.

1:29:441:29:46

You should have.

1:29:461:29:49

-He took away your name.

-Sophie! You will miss the train!

1:29:491:29:53

Look lively with those bags, George.

1:29:551:29:58

There is no point in you accompanying us.

1:30:131:30:16

Alfred can find me a porter and I know you have work to do.

1:30:161:30:20

Hm...

1:30:251:30:26

Will you be so kind as to hand me in, John?

1:30:341:30:37

HORSEMEN: Ha! Come on, boy!

1:30:481:30:51

What are you doing?

1:31:021:31:04

Put it here.

1:31:121:31:14

What are you going to do with that?

1:31:161:31:18

Leaving it there.

1:31:181:31:21

They'll find it when Alfred takes the carriage back.

1:31:211:31:24

Won't they be cross?

1:31:241:31:25

It's quite simply one of the remarkable pictures in the world.

1:31:411:31:47

-DOOR CLOSES

-You must be very proud.

1:31:471:31:50

Mr Ruskin, sir...

1:31:531:31:55

..there is a gentleman at the door for you.

1:31:561:31:59

Hm.

1:31:591:32:00

Where are we?

1:32:181:32:20

You'll have to help me, lambkin.

1:32:211:32:23

Mr John Ruskin?

1:32:231:32:26

Yes.

1:32:261:32:27

I have a citation to court.

1:32:271:32:30

-To court?

-From whom?

1:32:301:32:32

Mrs Euphemia Ruskin.

1:32:321:32:34

The defendant must receive the papers himself, sir.

1:32:361:32:40

It is a matter of law.

1:32:401:32:42

And this is concerning...?

1:32:481:32:50

It... It is a private matter, sir.

1:32:501:32:53

You may illuminate.

1:32:531:32:55

Very well.

1:32:551:32:57

Petitioning for the annulment of your marriage, sir.

1:32:571:33:01

On what grounds?

1:33:041:33:06

It is a very delicate matter, sir.

1:33:081:33:10

-I don't...

-My parents are privy to all my affairs.

1:33:101:33:14

Nonetheless...

1:33:141:33:15

I demand to know, on what grounds?

1:33:151:33:19

On the grounds of impotency, sir.

1:33:211:33:25

Hello!

1:33:521:33:54

Who are you?

1:33:541:33:56

I'm Sophie.

1:33:561:33:57

What's happened?

1:33:571:33:59

You're not to go to her.

1:34:081:34:10

She says you're forbidden.

1:34:101:34:13

She said it would ruin her, and you.

1:34:131:34:16

She said I was to tell you this...

1:34:251:34:27

She says she loves you very much,

1:34:301:34:33

but she says she's not fit to marry for a time,

1:34:331:34:36

without much deliberation.

1:34:361:34:38

Because... Wait...

1:34:381:34:40

Because it would never do to be wretched twice.

1:34:401:34:43

He said, "Tell her that I look forward to her..." No...

1:34:561:35:02

"..to making her very happy."

1:35:021:35:04

SHE SIGHS

1:36:001:36:01

Would you like a game of cards?

1:36:071:36:09

When young Effie Gray becomes the wife of John Ruskin, one of the most distinguished writers and critics of the day and who has known her since her childhood, it soon becomes apparent that Ruskin regards her as a muse rather than a wife, and the stifling atmosphere of their home, along with Ruskin's overbearing wealthy parents soon take a toll on Effie's health.

A trip back to Scotland for Ruskin to have his protrait painted by his protoge John Everrett Millais increases the distance between husband and wife, but the sympathy shown by Millais begins to offer her a release.


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