The Borgias (2011 TV series)

television series
(Redirected from The Borgias)

The Borgias (2011–2013) Is a Showtime television series depicting the rise to power of the notorious Borgia family in Rome during the late 15th century. With Rodrigo Borgia, a.k.a Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons) having taken the seat of St. Peter by dubious means, it is up to his illegitimate children Cesare (Francois Arnaud) Juan (David Oakes) and Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) to help him keep it, in the face of rivals such as the Sforza noble clan and Cardinal Della Rovere (Colm Feore).

Season One


The Poisoned Chalice [1.01]

Giovanni Cybo/Innocent VIII: (to the Cardinals, as he is dying) You are afraid to enter, but you must. (they enter) I am about to meet my maker, and I have confessed. And, I confess... I am very afraid. (acknowledges several of them, and they bow) Corlona. Sforza. Orsini. Borgia.
Rodrigo Borgia: (bows) Your Holiness.
Giovanni Cybo/Innocent VIII:...Della Rovere. (Della Rovere bows) You will fight, like dogs... over this corpse I leave...for this throne, of St. Peter's. (Della Rovere crosses himself) But, it was pure, once. We have all sullied it, with our greed and... lechery. (Borgia and Della Rovere meet each other's eyes) Which of you... will wash it clean?! (Della Rovere seems about to speak, but Borgia speaks first)
Rodrigo Borgia: It shall be cleansed, Your Holiness- with the tears we shed for you. I swear, before the living God.
Orsino Orsini: (sneering) You swear thus- a Spanish burano, a white Moor?!
Rodrigo Borgia: (firmly) As Vice-Chancellor, I swear, before the living God. (kisses the Pope's hand)
Ascanio Sforza: And so do I, Your Holiness.
Cardinal Versucci: And I, Your Holiness. (the Cardinals all gather around the bed, voicing their assurances)
Guiliano Della Rovere: Rest assured, Your Holiness, the glory of our Holy Mother Church will be restored- in my lifetime. (kisses the Pope's hand as Borgia watches him)

Rodrigo Borgia: We must get you out of here, before they lock the doors.
Cesare Borgia: And, so it begins.
Rodrigo Borgia: You know what to do?
Cesare Borgia: (exasperated) Yes, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia: Keep our family safe. Until the new Pope is elected, there can be anarchy in Rome- every faction fighting for its' own candidate. And, if, after the first vote, if the smoke is black-
Cesare Borgia: (impatiently) As you said, Father- I know what to do. (he tries to walk away, but Rodrigo grabs his shoulder and forces him against the wall)
Rodrigo Borgia: (quietly) I have waited a lifetime for this moment; we will go over it again. If we fail on the first vote, I will send word-
Cesare Borgia: On the wings of a dove-
Rodrigo Borgia: Names, of those Cardinals who need persuading.
Cesare Borgia: With properties, benifaces, and if need be, gold. (pause) They call that simony, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia: (waves it aside) God will forgive us, my son. (looks him in the eye) But I will not forgive failure. From you, or your brother. Am I understood?
Cesare Borgia: (pause) We will not fail you, Father. (Rodrigo nods, then kisses him on the cheeks)
Rodrigo Borgia: Go, now.

Cesare Borgia: Have you heard?
Vanozza Cattaneo: (playing cards with her two youngest children) Even Joffrey has heard, have you not?
Joffrey Borgia: The Pope is dead?
Cesare Borgia: You know what that means?
Vanozza Cattaneo: I know there will be an election.
Juan Borgia: (enters after Cesare) And the city will be bedlam until it is over.
Lucrezia Borgia: Do you think our father can win, Juan?
Juan Borgia: Are we allowed to dream, Mother?
Vanozza Cattaneo: Your father found ways to love and care for us in this house, but I'm not sure that, as Pope, he can do the same.
Juan Borgia: As Pope, he can do what he wants.
Vanozza Cattaneo: (gives him a direct look) Are you sure? Kings and Popes and Emperors belong to their people, not to their families.
Cesare Borgia: So- we allow the election to run its' course, and he won't be Pope?
Vanozza Cattaneo: What other course is there? It's in the hands of God.
Cesare Borgia: (smiles) It's in the hands of the College of Cardinals, Mother. Not quite the same thing. (gestures to Joffrey to play a particular card) This one.

Guiliano Della Rovere: (notices Rodrigo coming down the hall) Cardinal Borgia.
Rodrigo Borgia: (bows mockingly and keeps walking) My Lord Cardinal.
Guiliano Della Rovere: Whoever wins this contest-
Rodrigo Borgia: (turns around) Election.
Guiliano Della Rovere:... If you were a different man, I might vote for you. You've performed your duties as Vice-Chancellor admirably. (Rodrigo bows his head again) The Church has need of your... organizational genius.
Rodrigo Borgia: ...but?...
Guiliano Della Rovere: She has other needs, as well.
Rodrigo Borgia: (sits near Della Rovere) And, they would be?...
Guiliano Della Rovere: Honesty. Probity. Goodness'.
Rodrigo Borgia: You find me lacking in those qualities?
Guiliano Della Rovere: (firmly) Yes. And so, I shall fight you. To the end, and beyond that, if need be, with any means at my disposal.
Rodrigo Borgia: (nods)... I do tend to win whatever battles I fight. (stands up) But what talk we of fighting? It is all on God's hands. (crosses himself) Goodnight, my Lord.

Cesare Borgia: I ask to confess to you... Holy Father, because... I have sinned.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: And how have you sinned, my son?
Cesare Borgia: I have corrupted my soul. I have pledged estates, castles, benifaces to your brother Cardinals... and transferred the documents in the innards of beasts and roasted fowls. All, to secure your election as Pope.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: And God will repay us, tenfold.
Cesare Borgia: But, you must set my soul at ease, Father. Can a family such as ours survive such a prize? (chuckles darkly) We are Spaniards- they hate us. The enemies we have at present will be multiplied tenfold.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: God will protect his vicar on Earth, Cesare- and those dearest to him-
Cesare Borgia: (sarcastically) Will you inform God, as to his duties in this regard?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Why this blasphemous tone, my son?
Cesare Borgia: (grimly) Because, I swear- if God does not protect us, I shall.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sharply) You are a bishop, Cesare- you have no need of such temporal thoughts.
Cesare Borgia: (angry) You placed this collar around my neck, Father. You made God my calling... but the sins I've committed for you must surely convince you that the Church is not my calling! (pause) I beg you, now, to release me of my vows- and let me live as a layman. As a soldier. I can then protect my family from the storm that surely must engulf it-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: You are my eldest son, Cesare. You were always destined to be a Prince of the Church!
Cesare Borgia: I would be a Prince of State, Father, and I think you know that.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: The Papal Army is small, Cesare. The battles I will fight will be within these sacred walls. This is where I will need your help! (pause) Juan can bear arms for the Borgia family, and lead whatever army the Pope has, and I will not have my authority questioned further on this. Ego te Absolvo.

The Assassin [1.02]


[Micheletto, having been hired by Cesare in the midst of an assasination plot against the Borgia family, has just killed all the other assassins]

Cesare Borgia: (observing the bodies) You planned this massacre thoroughly.
Micheletto Corella: If I had planned it, my Lord, believe me, we would not be having this conversation.
Cesare Borgia: You're that meticulous?
Micheletto Corella: Always. (removes a dagger from a body and throws it aside)
Cesare Borgia: And who planned it?
Micheletto Corella: Cardinal Orsini.
Cesare Borgia: And Della Rovere?
Micheletto Corella: I know nothing of him. In this affair, I had but one master. (leans against the wall to catch his breath)
Cesare Borgia: And now?...
Micheletto Corella: And now, I am like a stray dog- masterless. (glances at Cesare) Unless your kind offer still stands.
Cesare Borgia: You could've... let things take their course, betrayed me. Most of your kind do.
Micheletto Corella: My kind? (pause) I do not have a "kind". (glances at his bloody hands, then back to Cesare) And, I suspect, neither do you.
Cesare Borgia: (sheathes his dagger, approaches) Your name, sweet assassin?
Micheletto Corella: (straightens up)... Micheletto.
Cesare Borgia: You must prove yourself worthy of my trust, then.
Micheletto Corella: (gestures to the pile of corpses) This is not proof enough?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps... perhaps not. Can you dispose of these corpses?
Micheletto Corella: You would keep them secret?
Cesare Borgia: More than that- I would keep you secret. (pause) Dump them in the Tiber- meet me at the Vatican gates in two hours' time. We shall discuss your future service.

The Moor [1.03]


Lucrezia's Wedding [1.04]

Guiliano Della Rovere: (dining in the House of Medici) The wealth of Florence astounds me, Don de Medici.
Piero de Medici: Banking. The Medici family are bankers to the world- to the Vatican itself.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Father Savanarola calls it "usury".
Piero de Medici: And what do you call it?
Niccolo Machiavelli: "Interest."
Guiliano Della Rovere: He may be wrong about the Medici bank, but he's right about the Borgia Pope. Alexander's great game is the investiture of Naples. He knows France has claims upon it; he knows Spain has claims upon it. He will play them both against each other, like a spider with two flies-
Piero de Medici: (impatiently) And you? What is your game?
Guiliano Della Rovere: (smiles) I have no game- but, if I am forced to play... I will head to France, and ask the French King to invade our beautiful Italy. (Medici looks alarmed)
Niccolo Machiavelli: (pretends to look bewildered) "Italy?" Is there such an entity?
Guiliano Della Rovere: There is a land, Signor Machiavelli, made up of many principalities. The Duchy of Milan, the Republic of your wondrous Florence, the Dukedoms of the Romagna, the Papal States-
Niccolo Machiavelli: And to their south, Naples.
Guiliano Della Rovere: Borgia has betrothed his daughter to a Sforza. He will marry his son to a Spaniard or a Venetian, his younger son to a Florentine or a Neapolitan. (to Medici) He will weave a web around this Italy that may not exist- he will swallow your Florence, your Venice, your Milan- and Italy then will exist, my Liege. Under him.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (sarcastically) Hmm- prophetic words. Are you... cousin to Savanarola?
Guiliano Della Rovere: No. But, I would meet with him- I've seen him preach.
Piero de Medici: Can you explain to me, Cardinal, why the King of France would muster an army and invade his neighbors?
Guiliano Della Rovere: Because he wants Naples.
Niccolo Machiavelli: So,you give France Naples, France gives you... Rome.
Guiliano Della Rovere: (folds his hands together)... I don't want Rome. I want to restore the glory of her Holy Church.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Mmm- as Pope.
Guiliano Della Rovere: (smiles uneasily) As her humble servant.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (smiles thinly) Indeed. And... what do you want of Florence?
Guiliano Della Rovere:... Nothing.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (chuckles) Well, then we will charge you nothing!
Guiliano Della Rovere: You misunderstand. I ask that Florence do... nothing.
Niccolo Machiavelli:... Ah. We, let those French... barbarians march through our Principality, and do...
Guiliano Della Rovere: Nothing. (Medici glances between them)
Niccolo Machiavelli: (coldly)... That's a different kind of nothing. That will cost you something.

The Borgias in Love [1.05]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (to his doctor) Go away! (to Cardinal Sforza) Do nightmares ever plague the Vice-Chancellor?
Ascanio Sforza: The very office is a nightmare, Your Holiness. Plots, petty intrigues and petitions... which I do my utmost to keep from your presence.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (nods slowly) I need your assurance... of the welfare of my daughter- in the castle of your cousin, Giovanni Sforza.
Ascanio Sforza: You suspect she's ill-used?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sighs worriedly) Our nightmares tell us so.
Ascanio Sforza: He will be... putty in her soft hands, Your Holiness. Yes, he inherited the Sforza name, the Sforza wealth- but none of its' vigor.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: And the Sforza appetite for intrigue?
Ascanio Sforza: (shrugs) Yes, well...yes, that he did inherit. But... intrigue is no match for Borgia intelligence, as all Rome has discovered.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: So... I need your further assurance that... he, and another cousin, the Duke of Milan, will be constant in their support... for our Papacy. (Cardinal Sforza looks away) We have merged our fortunes with the Sforza name- the consequence of that trust being betrayed... would be most severe.
Ascanio Sforza: (pause) Do you speak to me as Vice-Chancellor, Your Holiness?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI': (coldly)...No. As a Sforza.

Cesare Borgia: You loved my father?
Vanozza Cattaneo:... Fool that I am, my son, perhaps I love him still.
Cesare Borgia: Can it be... cured?
Vanozza Cattaneo: No. It can be endured, embraced- and suffered. (pause) You are suffering, my son?
Cesare Borgia:... I have met a woman, Mother(sits across from Vanozza, who smiles slightly)... who is married.
Vanozza Cattaneo: And she makes you suffer? (Cesare sighs) Well, perhaps she suffers, too.
Cesare Borgia: She does. (pause) But, if I can rid her of her impediment-
Vanozza Cattaneo: She will be yours?
Cesare Borgia: (shakes his head) To endure life, like you did, Mother?
Vanozza Cattaneo: You could leave the Church (Cesare scoffs, she smiles humorously) And displease your father... if you dare.
Cesare Borgia: (pause, leans forward) I fear nothing, Mother.

Cesare Borgia: (having received a report from Micheletto) Della Rovere has left Florence.
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: With, or without satisfaction?
Juan Borgia: (dismissively) We have the Papal Armies, the Sforza armies, our allies in the Romagna, all under my command. (sits across from Cesare, slams his sword on the table) To hell with Florence!
Cesare Borgia: (fiddling with a dagger) My fear is, the Cardinal might invite Apocalypse.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: He would open the Seven Seals.
Cesare Borgia: No, Father, let us not talk in metaphors. My fear is, he would go to France, conspire with the French to invade us, and arrange free passage of their armies through the Republic of Florence and the Duchy of Milan.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: And, the French King would-
Cesare Borgia: Depose you and march south, to Naples. (pause) His armies are hardened by a hundred years of battle with England- there is nothing here to match them.
Juan Borgia: Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan- he is cousin to our sister's husband, Giovanni Sforza.
Cesare Borgia: (scoffs) Lucrezia did not marry Ludovico Sforza, Brother- and they don't call him Il Moro for nothing.
Juan Borgia: (stands up, crosses the room) I hear he keeps his own cousin, caged beneath his castle floors.
Cesare Borgia: (stands up, approaches the Pope) He would betray us in a moment, if he thought his Dukedom was in peril. What he fears... is that his nephew would wear his crown.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Well... perhaps we should threaten them, with just that possibility. (Juan smiles) And you should go to Florence- tease out their intentions. Those Medici bankers have a preacher, Savanarola, who accuses them of usury. (smiles) Perhaps we should offer them an excommunication- a public burning- if they support our just cause.

Girolamo Savanarola: (addressing a crowd in a Florentine cathedral) FLORENCE! The time will come when all your finery, goods and chattles will profit you nothing! You have lived in usury, Florence, like pigs in heat! The riches of your banking may astound the world, but one day they will be your undoing -owing to your avarice! Neither you, nor your children lead a good life! You have already discovered, many devices of gaining money...
Niccolo Machiavelli: (appears next to Cesare, who is watching Savanarola) It was rumored a Cardinal had graced Florence with his presence.
Cesare Borgia: (glances at him) And, you are?...
Niccolo Machiavelli: Niccolo Machiavelli, Ambassador to the House of Medici.
Cesare: (nods to the ranting Savanarola)...This Friar would burn your Florence to the ground.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Not quite- he would reduce us, to his own status.
Cesare Borgia: Which is?...
Niccolo Machiavelli: A pile of straw, upon a monastery floor. He disapproves of... display, ornament, artistry. Even comfort.
Cesare Borgia:...Perhaps Cardinal Cesare Borgia can be of some help.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You would meet with my master, Piero de Medici?
Cesare Borgia: No. He would meet with you, in Macedon.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (glances quickly at him)... Aha. A conspiracy, then.
Cesare Borgia: (smiles) No. More like... an Inquisition.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (smiles briefly) Perhaps you should follow me. (they move away from Savanarola)
Cesare Borgia: Another Cardinal came through here, some days ago- he left his mark, I believe, upon a confessional door.
Niccolo Machiavelli: There... was a Friar, found murdered. But, that Cardinal claimed to be a man of peace.
Cesare Borgia: We all do, Signor Machiavelli.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You make the same claims?
Cesare Borgia: For the moment. But, I would hazard, that if this Cardinal passed through Florence, he did more than pin a Dominican Friar to a door.
Niccolo Machiavelli: You would?
Cesare Borgia: Yes. I would hazard... he met with the Florentine Ambassador (gives Machiavelli a direct look) and his master, Don Medici.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And, if he did?...
Cesare Borgia: I would hazard there was a purpose for that meeting.
Niccolo Machiavelli: The purpose being?...
Cesare Borgia:... That Florence unite to his cause?
Niccolo Machiavelli: No. On the contrary, he asks for nothing.
Cesare Borgia: (pause) Nothing?
Niccolo Machiavelli:... Or, to be more specific, he asked that Florence... do nothing.
Cesare Borgia: (nods slowly) He requested that Florence do nothing... in the event of a great something. (moves past Machiavelli)
Niccolo Machiavelli:... You are far too clever, for a Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: The times have made me so. He requested that Florence do nothing, and allow a great passage of arms through its' Republic?...
Niccolo Machiavelli: (shrugs) Perhaps.
Cesare Borgia: And, Florence promised him?
Niccolo Machiavelli:... Why should I tell you what Florence told him?
Cesare Borgia: (smiles) I could ensure that, instead of your beautiful Florence... Friar Savanarola himself burns.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (chuckles briefly) An impressive offer.
Cesare Borgia: So... Florence offered the good Cardinal...
Niccolo Machiavelli: What he offered Florence. Nothing. (starts to move away, Cesare grabs his arm)
Cesare Borgia: So, the arms of France cannot pass through your fair Republic?
Niccolo Machiavelli: In a sentence. (looks at Cesare thoughtfully) And, if these times have made you clever... the coming months may thrust genius upon you. (leaves)

Lucrezia Borgia: (concerning her husband, as she rides through the woods escorted by Paolo) Where does he hunt?
Paolo: In the high mountain passes.
Lucrezia Borgia: (sarcastically) He is brave, with those deer...
Paolo: But?...
Lucrezia Borgia: But, they suffer less than me, do they not? He kills them quickly.
Paolo: Do you suffer?
Lucrezia Borgia: Nightly.
Paolo: (indignant) He must stop! It is a crime, against...
Lucrezia Borgia: (sadly) Against what?
Paolo: (looks directly at her) Against you. Your beauty. You're the Pope's daughter; how can he stand it?!
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks away)... The Pope doesn't know.
Paolo: If I could write, I would send him a letter.
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks at him)... Am I beautiful, Paolo?
Paolo: (smiles)... You're the most beautiful thing I've yet seen.
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles) Lift me down. (Paolo helps her dismount her horse)
Paolo:... I could adjust his saddle.
Lucrezia Borgia: (puzzled) You could adjust my Lord's saddle? (pause) He would fall. He would fright. (starts to smile) He would return home...tamed.
Paolo: (nods) Broken.
Lucrezia Borgia:... What if he died?
Paolo: From a fall? He would never.
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles mischievously) What if I had you whipped, for wickedness?
Paolo: (shakes his head) You would never.
Lucrezia Borgia: Are you sure?
Paolo: (smiles) Yes- of that, I am sure.

The French King [1.06]

Neapolitan Ambassador: King Ferrante of Naples sends his humble regards-
Juan Borgia: (smirks) King Ferrante of Naples can neither hear nor see, I believe. (Alexander swats him on the shoulder)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Son.
Neapolitan Ambassador: He nevertheless sends his every good wish. And, in the face of all the spurious claims upon his Kingdom- from Spain, from France, from the Duchy of Milan- he would remind Your Holiness of the justice of the independent claims of Naples. An independent Naples can only be to Rome's... benefit. (Cesare glances at the Pope) And I, as his Ambassador, am proud to present a suit for your consideration, of his last unmarried daughter, Sancha, Duchessa of Squillace. (reaches for the cloth cover to Sancha's portrait)
Juan Borgia: Where is Squillace?
Neapolitan Ambassador: (annoyed) In the Kingdom of Naples. (reveals the portrait; Alexander looks approving, while Juan is clearly drawn to Sancha's face; he stands up and takes a closer look)
Juan Borgia: (clearly jealous) My younger brother Joffre is all of thirteen years old.
Neapolitan Ambassador: His Highness had understood the prospective groom to be the Gonfaloniere himself- the Duke of Gandia.
Juan Borgia: (offended) Me? Why, this is most irregular- I would never consider marrying the illegitimate daughter of the King of Na-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (cuts him off, sharply) Would you convey our thanks, to our friend and ally King Ferrante- whose claim to independence we fully understand- for his most generous offer?! (Juan looks angrily back and forth between him and the Ambassador) You will have our response... shortly.

Lucrezia Borgia: (looks into a spring-pool with Paolo) Look at you.
Paolo: Me?
Lucrezia Borgia: Like Narcissus, in the spring waters.
Paolo: Narcissus? (Lucrezia looks at him)
Lucrezia Borgia: You don't know Narcissus?
Paolo: I can neither read, nor write, my Lady Lucrezia. (Lucrezia leans close to him and they look back at the pool)
Lucrezia Borgia:... Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, in the waters of a spring. Do not move. (she bends and kisses Paolo's reflection in the water)
Paolo: It is impossible. (pulls her upright)
Lucrezia Borgia: To fall in love with a reflection?
Paolo: To kiss it. (they kiss)
Lucrezia Borgia:... And I thought I would never know sweetness. (they kiss again)

French Captain: Your Royal Highness, may I introduce you to Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere? (Charles continues eating) Cardinal Della Rovere, His Royal Highness King Charles of France.
Guiliano Della Rovere: (bows) Your Royal Highness.
Charles VIII: We have heard of you.
Guiliano Della Rovere: And I of you, Your Highness. Your military renown has traveled far and wide-
Charles VIII: (irritated) Enough of the pleasantries! You are the one who would give us the Crown of Naples. (gestures for Della Rovere to sit opposite him, Della Rovere does so)
Guiliano Della Rovere: The Kingdom of France has long had claims on the investiture of the Kingdom of Naples. I would-
Charles VIII: I said, enough pleasantries, did I not? Just tell me, Cardinal (leans forward) How you would place the Crown of Naples on this ugly head of mine. (Della Rovere looks startled) And it is exceedingly ugly, is it not?
Guiliano Della Rovere: Your Highness bears all the vigor of the French race in his person.
Charles VIII: (smirks, to his Generals) He's afraid to say it. Is my head not ugly, General?
French General: (grins) I can hardly bear to gaze at it. (the Generals laugh)
Charles VIII: So, admit it, Cardinal- I have all the graces of a carnival dwarf.
Guiliano Della Rovere: Those words would never pass my lips, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: Well, then we may get nowhere. I appreciate only plain speech. (eats, pause) Tell us, then, what you want of us- plainly.
Guiliano Della Rovere:... My countrymen are accustomed to the show of war, not the reality. They could never muster the courage to sustain your French fury.
Charles VIII:... You want me to march to Rome, depose that Borgia, give you the Papal Crown... in the hope that you will place the Crown of Naples on this ugly head. (indicates himself)
Guiliano Della Rovere: (firmly) I want to restore the universal Church to her former dignity.
Charles VIII: Couldn't this Borgia do the same?
Guiliano Della Rovere: (bewildered) Restore the Church?
Charles VIII': Place the Crown of Naples on this ugly noggin?
Guiliano Della Rovere: "Noggin?"
Charles VIII: Head. (his Generals chuckle)
Guiliano Della Rovere: (curlty) Either way, you must get to Rome, Your Highness.

Charles VIII: (drinking wine with Della Rovere) You would entice me to battle- but, do you know what that means?
Guiliano Della Rovere: It means a just war in defense of Christendom.
Charles VIII: (snorts) No war is just. War is chaos. Brute force, mustered against brute force until one side is destroyed, utterly. (pause) I have read of your Italian battles. Hired mercenaries on feathered horseback, prancing like peacocks one against the other, until one side retires... with something called honor? (stares at Della Rovere, snorts) But, there is no honor in war. (bitterly) The French learned that against the English. There is blood, death, armor against armor until one side... surrenders, in death or domination. (pause) Be careful what you pray for, Cardinal, if you pray for war. You will find yourself in a place... beyond prayer itself. (Della Rovere stares at him)

[Ursula, veiled, has met Cesare in the Vatican]

Ursula Bonadeo: I asked to meet you here, because... my husband has been found. (Cesare looks at her, then away) Washed up, on the shores of the Tiber- three weeks dead, with stab wounds to his neck. (pause, her voice shaking) For those three weeks, I -gave my body to you. I broke my marriage vows.
Cesare Borgia: I thought... perhaps I hoped- you did so willingly-
Ursula Bonadeo: You bought those three weeks with murder! (tearfully) I told you he was riding on the road to Ostia that night. (pulls the veil off her face and stares at him) Admit it, Cardinal!
Cesare Borgia: I admit nothing.
Ursula Bonadeo: Yet the crime is written on your face!
Cesare Borgia: (finally meets her eyes) There was no murder. He fought, he lost! (Ursula claps her hand to her mouth in horror)
Ursula Bonadeo: (tearfully) I begged you not to meet him!
Cesare Borgia: You begged me not to place myself in harm's way.
Ursula Bonadeo: I had no idea you had such capabilities!
Cesare Borgia: (turns away) And to think, I thought you knew me.
Ursula Bonadeo: I thought I knew a man! A man conflicted, perhaps, between the world and God, but not a murderer!
Cesare Borgia: (voice shaking) Is it murder to defend your mother's honor? To procure the freedom of one you could love? (Ursula gives a sarcastic laugh through her tears) Even more than your mother's honor. (stares at her) If it is, I am a murderer born.
Ursula Bonadeo: Maybe God can forgive you, because I'm not sure if I can.
Cesare Borgia: You think I care for the forgiveness of God?! (pause) I care for your happiness, your future... and I have now given it to you. Liberame, you asked me-
Ursula Bonadeo: You have not given me a future! You have given me a lifelong penance! I am party to your crime! (pause, more quietly) I feel for you, still... but I know not this monster beside me. (she starts to rise, but Cesare grabs her arm and pulls her back, scaring her)
Cesare Borgia: Well, let me tell you. (pause) I was born... with a stain. A mark. Like the mark of Cain. It is the mark of my father, of my family... the mark of Borgia. (pause) I've tried, to be other than I am... and I have failed. (voice breaks) If I have failed you in the process, I am truly sorry. (rests his forehead against hers)
Ursula Bonadeo: You... you have the Devil's insight, Cardinal. You read what my heart wanted, and you gave it to me. You gave me... joy. Through a crime, I could not have conceived. (pause) And now, I must live my life in penance, praying for forgiveness.
Cesare Borgia: Where?
Ursula Bonadeo:... You will not know where. (stands up and walks away, Cesare stands behind her)
Cesare Borgia: You mean a nunnery?
Ursula Bonadeo: I mean confinement.
Cesare Borgia: (voice shaking) I will search you out! Like Abalard and Eloise. You may find a nunnery cell, but you will never be free of me!
Ursula Bonadeo: (smiles grimly) You are right. I will never be free of you.

Death on a Pale Horse [1.07]

French General: Tell me, Cardinal- what is the Italian word for "cannon"?
Guiliano Della Rovere: We have no such word, General.
French General: For... gunpowder? Recoil, battery, cannonball, ordinance?
Guiliano Della Rovere:... I'm at a loss.
French General: (grins) You will need a new language, then. Your Italy will soon be deafened by the sound of cannon. (Della Rovere looks uneasy)

Lucrezia Borgia: I must return to my husband in the morning.
Cesare Borgia: Why?
Lucrezia Borgia: Because he is my husband. Because our father needs his allegiance.
Cesare Borgia: I should keep you here in chains- I suspect you would be happier.
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks sharply at him) Why do you question my happiness?
Cesare Borgia: Because something happened. I know it.
Lucrezia Borgia: What do you know?
Cesare Borgia: Your eyes. (Lucrezia turns away) You no longer walk on air. (she walks away, he follows her) Where is my young sister hiding?
Lucrezia Borgia: I am the Lord Sforza's wife, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: If he does ill by you, I shall do ill by him.
Lucrezia Borgia: He would be wise to be kind, then. (they both stop)
Cesare Borgia: What are... his pleasures?
Lucrezia Borgia: Hunting. (bitterly) The marital bed.
Cesare Borgia: (exhales angrily) I dislike him already.
Lucrezia Borgia: (smirks, sits) But he had an accident, Brother- and now, he can indulge in neither.
Cesare Borgia: A happy accident?
Lucrezia Borgia: Yes. God is good.
Cesare Borgia: But he will recover.
Lucrezia Borgia: Unfortunately, yes. (Cesare sits down, looks at her)
Cesare Borgia:...You are no longer a child, Sis. I won't forgive him for that.
Lucrezia Borgia:... There was a reason for my marriage, Brother. (pause, looks at him) Remind me of it. (Cesare looks away, then leaves)

French Scout: (returning from the gates of the city of Lucca) They would open their gates to you, my Liege, but they would first discuss terms.
Charles VIII: (curtly)... Let us show them terms. (gestures to his artillery)
Gunners: FIRE! (the French cannon batteries open fire, doing devastating damage to Lucca's walls and gates and terrifying the civilians; the French soldiers cheer)
Charles: (to the scout) Those are my terms. (the scout and Della Rovere both look horrified) Captains!
French General: FORWARD! (the French cavalry charges into Lucca, followed by the infantry)

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: We will excommunicate Florence, if the French armies are admitted! (several of the Cardinals voice their approval)
Ascanio Sforza: (skeptically) Excommunicate the entire city, Your Holiness?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: The Medicis, the Paccis, Machiavelli- the whole signoria! (the Cardinals repeat their approval) And we will have that Savanarola burnt! We will bear no more opposition to our work!
Alessandro Piccolomini: Then you must excommunicate half of Christendom- because half the world is against us!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (stands up, furious) We will not tolerate this heresy- this apostacy! (gestures behind him) This is the chair of Saint Peter's; we are the voice of the living God! We will occupy this chair until death, and the fires of Hell shall rain down on those who would oppose us! (the Cardinals look unimpressed by this outburst, Cesare watches his father as he walks down the hall and turns) We are, all of us, about to be... sorely tested. And you... are either with us... or against us. (walks back) We hereby impose an excommunication... upon that heretic apostate, Cardinal Guiliano Della Rovere. We ask for your support in this most solemn declaration. (pause) We demand your compliance, so... (gestures to them) A show of hands, Your Eminences (silence) If you please! (none of the Cardinals, even Cesare, raises their hands; Alexander drops his in frustration. After a moment, Cardinal Sforza lifts his hand)
Ascanio Sforza: (wearily) Your Holiness, may the Vice-Chancellor speak?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Yes, Cardinal Sforza, he may. (sits)
Ascanio Sforza: It would be... unwise (stands) to use the Church's most solemn sanction... to so little effect.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: What does the Vice-Chancellor mean?
Ascanio Sforza: Excommunication or not, this invasion will proceed. We may all have to adjust ourselves to new realities.

[Della Rovere, having negotiated the French Army's bloodless passage through Florence, awaits them at the city's gate with Machiavelli and Piero de Medici)

Niccolo Machiavelli: I have heard a whisper of your excommunication, Cardinal.
Guiliano Della Rovere: Indeed? I've heard the same of yours. (Machiavelli glances at him)
Niccolo Machiavelli: Mine?
Guiliano Della Rovere: I've heard rumors the whole of Florence could be excommunicated, if this city is surrendered to French arms. (they glance back at Charles VIII at the head of his troops, who have almost reached the gates)
Niccolo Machiavelli: Well, then- perhaps that depends on one's definition of surrender. (he rides forward to intercept the King) I bid His Royal Highness and the Armies of France welcome, to the fair city of Florence. (Charles eyes him suspiciously) But, it would be politic, Your Highness, if you would ride through our gracious city with your lance at rest.
Charles VIII: (glances at his spear, held in offensive position) At rest?
Niccolo Machiavelli: (smiles) Your lance at point is a symbol of conquest- and our gracious Florence has not been conquered. On the contrary- we welcome you with open arms.

[Charles reluctantly raises his lance; Machiavelli nods and withdraws. As Charles starts to pass under the gate, his lance-point bumps against the arch of the gate, causing him to pause]

Charles VIII: Signor Machiavelli? (Machiavelli turns around)
Niccolo Machiavelli: Your Highness?
Charles VIII: Our lance at rest prevents our entry to your "fair city."
Niccolo Machiavelli: (shrugs) Perhaps, Your Highness, if it were to be angled backwards?
Charles VIII: (irritated) And of what would that be a symbol?
Niccolo Machiavelli: (smirks) Of Your Highness' infinite... resourcefulness.

The Art of War [1.08]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (angrily) We granted your King Ferdinand and your Queen Isabella the title of "most Catholic Majesties." We delivered a solemn Papal bull granting them everlasting rights over that vast new continent-
Spanish Ambassador: But, with respect, Holy Father, what you ask is impossible!

[Alexander stands up angrily and storms out of the room, half-dragging the Ambassador by the arm; he stops in the next room and releases him]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (more quietly) The involvement of Spanish forces, in the protection of St. Peter's and the Head of Christendom- (gestures to himself)
Spanish Ambassador: (cuts him off) Would amount to a declaration of war between France and Spain.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (wags a finger at him) Then I warn you, Ambassador, favors granted can be rescinded!
Spanish Ambassador: (raises his hands helplessly) And I would beg Your Holiness' forgiveness that I cannot meet his full demands!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexaner VI: (sighs in despair and goes to the window) Must we face this... French apocalypse alone? The populace is already fleeing Rome. (observes the civilians leaving the city, then turns back to the Ambassador) We thank their Royal Catholic Highnesses, and tell them- (kisses the Ambassador) our savior was kissed thus by Judas Iscariot. (storms out)

[Cesare has come in search of Juan in a brothel; he finds him drunk, half-dressed and asleep in one of the beds]

Cesare Borgia: (to a nearby whore) You know this man?
Whore: No, Father- he had no name last night. (Cesare grabs Juan by the feet and yanks him out of the bed, then drags him upright by the hair, waking him up)
Juan Borgia: (sheepishly) Brother.
Whore: (amused) You have a priest for a brother?
Juan Borgia: A Cardinal. (Cesare frog-marches him across the room)
Whore: Cardinal? I shoulda charged you double!
Juan Borgia: (chuckles) I imagine you did- (Cesare dunks him headfirst into a bucket of water, then pulls him back up and shoves him onto a blanket)
Cesare Borgia: (curtly) Your father would review the forces at his command, Gonfaloniere.
Juan Borgia: I am out of sorts this morning, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: It's afternoon. (picks up a bowl of water)
Juan Borgia: Ah, no!- (vainly trys to shield himself as Cesare throws the water on him)
Cesare Borgia: (smirks) You know me, Brother- I disapprove of lechery, debauchery, drunkenness.
Juan Borgia: (grins) Which is why our father made you the Cardinal.
Cesare Borgia: Why, then, did he make you a Duke? (throws the rest of Juan's clothes at him)
Juan Borgia: (smugly) Because lechery and debauchery are the very marks of nobility. (Cesare grabs his arm and yanks him upright again)
Cesare Borgia: Most of Italy has galloped off to the French side. They've heard a sound that is new to their Italian ears: the sound of cannon. (sharply) And the Gonfaloniere has other duties besides lechery and debauchery- there is the tedious business of war.

Cesare Borgia: (watching Juan lead the Papal Army off to face the French) Will the good Lord see the justice in our cause, Micheletto?
Micheletto Corella: Where warfare is concerned, Your Eminence, our good Lord will take a holiday.

[After devastating the much-smaller Papal Armies with its' artillery, the French Army is standing down while Lucrezia negotiates with her brother, the Gonfaloniere]

French General: We are in danger of losing the initiative, Your Highness! (King Charles motions for him to shut up) Your Highness, I strongly urge you to-
Charles VIII: You will wait! (pause) I will not harm her.
Juan Borgia: (to Lucrezia) Lucrezia! My God-
Lucrezia Borgia: They hold us hostage, Brother.
Juan Borgia: "Us?"
Lucrezia Borgia: Julia Farnese and I. We were riding to Rome-
Juan Borgia: Then ride on.
Lucrezia Borgia: Would you survive this day, dear Juan?
Juan Borgia: We have a battle to fight.
Lucrezia Borgia: Believe me, you have lost it already-
Juan Borgia: It is hardly begun!
Lucrezia Borgia: (sharply) I have heard one roar of cannon! A hundred more, and your whole army will be dead and bleeding, and you have yet to see their pikes!
Juan Borgia: (stubbornly) I will not accept defeat-
Lucrezia Borgia: Then do not call it that! Call it common sense! Say the French King asked for terms. You offered...
Juan Borgia: ...What did I offer?!
Lucrezia Borgia: His safe passage to Naples, in exchange for... his bloodless entry into Rome.
Juan Borgia: Lucrezia, he will pillage the place! Depose our father!
Lucrezia Borgia: Leave that to me. (she returns to Charles) It was my brother, Your Highness!
Charles VIII: Your brother?
Lucrezia Borgia: The Gonfalionere of the Papal Armies. He thought you meant to sack Rome, like the Goths and Vandal hordes! I told him you're a gentleman- you had no such idea. (Charles glances away ashamedly) You had no such idea, had you?
Charles VIII:... No such idea.
Lucrezia Borgia: Your goal is Naples. (Della Rovere looks quickly at the King)
Charles VIII: Naples... of course.
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles) So... my brother, the Duke of Gandia, the Gonfaloniere of the Papal Armies, bids you welcome to Rome.

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Your brother did not fail, Cesare; your father did. Your father, who placed that responsibility on his shoulders- who was blinded by paternal fondness. Your father, that has been abandoned by all that once supported him. Your father, who... who faces his dark night of the soul...alone. (Cesare kneels next to him and grips his hand)
Cesare Borgia: ...I will not leave you, Father. (Alexander kisses his hand and hugs him close, weeping)

Nessuno (Nobody) [1.09]

Charles VIII: (enters St. Peter's Basilica and moves towards the altar, looking all about) Holiness? (pause) Your Holiness? (he comes upon Alexander praying in the garb of a simple monk before the altar, and mistakes him for a common priest) Forgive me, Friar- I am seeking an audience with the Pope. (the Pope rises, his back still turned to the King) You have been interrupted at prayer-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (shakes his head) Our prayers are ended. (turns around and pulls back his hood) And, perhaps... they will be answered.
Charles VIII: (stares at him in astonishment)...Can this really be the Pope of Rome? Pope Alexander?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Sextus- at your service, my Lord. (comes forward and offers his ring; Charles kneels and kisses it) And you, my Lord, are?...
Charles VIII: King Charles, of France. (Alexander bows slightly to him, Charles gestures at the Pope's sackcloth robe) It is not as we expected...
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Does the Pope of Rome disappoint Your Highness? Had you hoped for gold and silver vestments? Display has its' purpose... but simplicity must rule our hearts. (Charles bows his head reverently) We are all of us, naked before God... even the Pope of Rome. Even... the King of France.

[Having agreed to invest Charles as King of France and Naples, while keeping Alexander as Pope, the French and the Borgias dine in the Vatican]

Charles VIII: There are beauteous women in Naples, I have been told. (Alexander nods) Even for this ugly snout of mine? (the French and the Pope chuckle)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: They will swear it is divine, Your Highness.
Charles VIII: They can lie in Naples?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Exceedingly well. They hardly know what "truth" is.
Charles VIII: HAH! (he and his generals roar with laughter, Charles turns to Cesare) A most excellent Pontiff, your father, is he not?
Cesare Borgia: (smiles uneasily) I have... no other to compare him with.
Charles VIII: Well, he has suited our purpose! We could be said to have an understanding. (glances at the Pope, who returns his gaze)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (nods heartily) We could, indeed!
Charles VIII: But, in case- just in case- we would make a request of Your Holiness.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Well, we will respectfully hear it.
Charles VIII: We would have you nominate a Papal Legate, to accompany our armies to the Kingdom of Naples. To remain with us, for the duration of our visit.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (glances away)... Very well. We will nominate a legate of our choice-
Charles VIII: (smiles and touches his arm) Oh, no- not of your choice, Holy Father. (Cesare tenses) Of ours.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Who would you choose?
Charles VIII: (smiles slightly) Your son, Cardinal Cesare Borgia. (Alexander hastily looks in Cesare's direction)
Cesare Borgia: (sharply) You would have me accompany your army as... a hostage?! (Alexander gestures at him to calm down)
Charles VIII: No, God forbid. (shakes his head, smiles) A hostage implies emnity!
Cesare Borgia: (angrily) And what does Legate imply?
Charles VIII: Friendship, surely! And a guarantee that such friendship will continue.

Cesare Borgia: (observing the ceremonial crowning of Charles by Alexander) It is an august sight, is it not?
Guiliano Della Rovere: St. Peter's in its' full glory, the Pope of Rome in Cathedra, the Sistine Chapel Choir singing. It would bring tears to one's eyes, Cardinal Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: I want to compliment you, Cardinal, on your... steadfastness, your probity, your...survival, indeed.
Guiliano Della Rovere: (nods) It did prove hard, at times.
Cesare Borgia: In fact, you proved such a worthy opponent, that... I would gladly have you back in Rome. (Della Rovere glances sharply at him)
Guiliano Della Rovere: You?
Cesare Borgia: I have my father's ear, as you must understand. And, he needs someone with the steel that your soul has. (Della Rovere looks away)
Guiliano Della Rovere: He has you, doesn't he?
Cesare Borgia: I will not be Cardinal forever; surely, you must know that.
Guiliano Della Rovere: And the other Cardinals?
Cesare Borgia: Well, my father's problem is he surrounds himself with weakness. (he and Della Rovere meet each other's gaze) And, with your strength, Cardinal-
Guiliano Della Rovere: I serve God...and can only pray the Papacy survives its' current occupant. (looks towards Alexander)
Cesare Borgia:... I could've killed you. Twice.
Guiliano Della Rovere: Perhaps, then, you should kill me now. Because my opposition to the Borgia Papacy will only die with me.

[The trial to decide the annulment of Lucrezia's marriage to Giovanni Sforza; she and Sforza questioned by Johannes Burkhardt before the Pope and the Cardinals]

Johannes Burkhardt: Lady Lucrezia, you have intimated some grave disappointment on your wedding night?
Lucrezia Borgia: It was disturbing, Your Honor, in the extreme.
Johannes Burkhardt: Would you be so kind as to elaborate?
Lucrezia Borgia: I blush with shame, to speak of such matters before this... august company. But...sadly... tragically, my husband revealed himself to be... (she trails off, Sforza frowns at her impatiently)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: You may speak frankly, Lady Lucrezia. These are grave matters.
Lucrezia Borgia: My husband, turned out...
Johannes Burkhardt: Please proceed. (Alexander smiles at his daughter and gestures for her to go on)
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks Sforza straight in the eye)... Turned out to be impotent. (the Cardinals chuckle)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Ah.
Giovanni Sforza: (smiles and shakes his head angrily) Monstrous. This is monstrous! On the wedding night, I can prove it- (he trails off)
Johannes Burkhardt: (mockingly)...Yes?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: You said, on the wedding night?...
Giovanni Sforza:... I say she lies.
Johannes Burkhardt: (steps forward) Indeed, but you just mentioned proof.
Giovanni Sforza: (glares at Lucrezia) She lies.
Johannes Burkhardt: Ah. (turns back to the Pope) There are precedents, Your Holiness, for a demonstration of proof of...potency. The Lord Sforza could demonstrate his claims to proof of full potency, with the Lady Lucrezia, before a gathering of Canon lawyers.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (pretending to be shocked) No, no no, that would surely be distasteful to the lady herself. (smiles at Lucrezia) Indeed, as would the Lord?... (gestures in Sforza's direction)
Giovanni Sforza: (scoffs) The very thought is an outrage!
Johannes Burkhardt: Well, then there remains one more possibility. (goes to the Pope) A public demonstration of the Lord Sforza's prowess, with one or two willing maidens, would also constitute proof of potency. (the Cardinals laugh again)
Giovanni Sforza: Public?
Johannes Burkhardt: Indeed. In a place of the college's choosing, before a gathering of canon lawyers and a selection of the Roman public.
Giovanni Sforza: (distastefully) You mean... Courtesans?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: But we will spare the Lord Sforza such...public humiliation. (stands up, gestures at the room around them) A demonstration here, before our brother Cardinals, would suffice.

[the Cardinals laugh, Cesare smiles. Alexander gives Lucrezia a reassuring look. Several of the Swiss guards enter, place a bed in the center of the room, then lead in two prostitutes. Sforza glares savagely from the Cardinals to the Pope as the girls kneel before Alexander]

1st Prostitute: Would His Holiness see the Lord Sforza with one, or both of us? (Alexander gives Sforza an inquiring look, shrugs and glances to Burkhardt)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Burkhardt?
Johannes Burkhardt: One demonstration will suffice. (Alexander nods to the girls, who stand up)
1st Prostitute: Me first, then. (she gets on the bed and hikes up her skirt in Sforza's direction, eliciting giggles from the Cardinals; Sforza approaches her, then stops) Do these thighs not please you? (the Cardinals laugh)
Giovanni Sforza: Enough! (Burkhardt glances up, Cesare leans forward. Sforza glares at the Pope, who is watching him smugly) Give me a divorce.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: But, on what grounds?
Giovanni Sforza: (quietly) Impotence. (the Cardinals laugh)
Johannes Burkhardt: (dips his quill in ink) We must hear it from the Lord Sforza's own lips. For the record..."On the wedding night"... (glances at Sforza)
Sforza: On the wedding night, I did not consummate my marriage.
Johannes Burkhardt: "Did not" or "could not"?
Giovanni Sforza: Did not. (Burkhardt continues to look expectantly at him)... And could not. (Burkhardt nods and keeps writing)
Burkhardt: "You were on that night, and remain..."
Giovanni Sforza: (enraged and humiliated) ...Impotent. (all the Cardinals, including Cesare, laugh)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (smugly) We declare the marriage between the Lady Lucrezia Borgia... and the Lord Giovanni Sforza... to be invalid. As if it never existed.

[Lucrezia has given birth to her son by Paolo, and the entire Borgia family has gathered]

Julia Farnese: We should give thanks.
Cesare Borgia: Whom should we thank?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (holding his newborn grandson) God. (he hands the baby to Lucrezia as everyone gathers around her bed) We should thank God for all the blessings he has visited upon this- our family.

Season Two


The Borgia Bull [2.01]


[Cardinal Della Rovere has been poisoned on Cesare's orders; Cesare visits him at the abbey where he is recovering]

Cesare Borgia: (to the nuns tending to Della Rovere) You may leave us, Sisters.
Nun: But, Cardinal-
Cesare Borgia: There is no need for last rights, but your prayers will be welcomed. (they start to leave, Della Rovere tries to speak) Hush, Cardinal- I will attend you.
Nun: Cardinal- (Cesare shuts the door in their faces)
Cesare Borgia: And you, Sisters, let us hear your prayers. (kneels next to Della Rovere as the latter watches him) Don't worry- if you're not dead by now, you will live. Your tongue will be swollen for days- no talking, I'm afraid. All of your prayers must be silent ones. (he bathes Della Rovere's brow) Altar boys and cantarella- neither can be trusted. But, you must know by now, Cardinal, there is no hiding place. Even here, in the depths of the Umbrian olive groves, we will find you. (pause) The French army is ensnared in Naples, the French King is ill with the Neapolitan disease, God is in His Heaven- and the Pope on his seat, in Rome. And, my plea to you, Cardinal, is still the same: work with us, not against us. (leaves)

[the Pope arrives to meet the French Ambassador with Cardinal Sforza, carrying his infant grandson by Lucrezia]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Ambassador. (walks past to the Papal Throne, humming to his grandson)
French Ambassador: (bows) Your Holiness. (he is forced to wait longer than usual, as the Pope walks slowly in a rocking motion to keep the baby calm)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: There we go! that's nice, isn't it? (sits down with the baby held to his chest) So, how can we be of assistance?
French Ambassador: (stands up, rather loudly) The whereabouts of Alf-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (gestures for him to keep his voice down) Shhhh! Pion isimo!
French Ambassador: (more quietly) Alfonso of Naples is still at large. (the Pope pretends to look surprised) We have reason to believe that he infected his own city with the pestilence that plagues it.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Oh- but how could that concern us? We would have the Ambassador gently remind the King, that Naples has the habit of rejecting those who would conquer it. (the baby begins to fuss) The Moor, the Turk, the Norman- shhhh (quiets the child) Why should the French be any different?
French Ambassador: But, Your Holiness invested King Charles with-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: SHHHH! Pion isimo! (to the baby) It's all right, darling, it's all right. (to the Ambassador. sharply) We granted the King his wish- Naples. He has Naples; he regrets that fact. That is his tragedy, and not ours! (the baby starts to fuss again) And now you've woken the child; shame on you, Ambassador! (walks past him, to the baby) Shh-shh-shh, it's all right, it's just the nasty Ambassador. Let's go and find your mama.

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: So... Cardinal Della Rovere is still alive.
Cesare Borgia: I would... hardly call it living.
Juan Borgia: (snidely) You need lessons in killing, Brother.
Cesare Borgia: From you?!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Enough! (pause) And King Charles of France, what of him?
Cesare Borgia: (smiles) He has been struck with the Neapolitan disease.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (nods) As we had hoped. So... Now, is the time of reckoning, for those who betrayed us.
Juan Borgia: What- the Vitelli, the Orsini, the Sforza?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: All the great families of the Romagna and the Papal States. Our task... is vengeance. We believe that the Cardinals will now, from henceforth, do our will- but now it is time to make sure their families feel the wind of our displeasure.
Juan Borgia: "'Vengeance is mine', sayeth the Lord."
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (smiles and shakes his head) Vengeance... will be ours. (looks at both of his sons) We shall subdue the arrogance of those Papal States, one by one by one. We will force them back into the arms of Rome. But, above all, the Sforzas... their betrayal of our Papacy shall be avenged.
Cesare Borgia: By whom? (indicates Juan contemptuously) This headless cock? (Juan lunges at him, Rodrigo forces them apart and cuffs them around the heads)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: WILL YOU STOP THIS DISCHORD?!! (gestures forcefully at them) WE ARE FAMILY! WE ARE ONE! And, we will only triumph AS ONE! (long pause) For, we have a second task -it is called renewal. We would restore Rome to its' former glory. Under the Borgias, it shall shine, as it did beneath the Caesars. But, if we are to achieve this greatness- your birthright- it will be together. As one! As family. Now, let me hear you speak that word. (takes Juan's wrist and holds his hand to his own) Give me your hand, Cesare. (Cesare does so, reluctantly, and Rodrigo holds it to his and Juan's) Family.
Juan Borgia: Family.
Cesare Borgia: (slightly hesitant) Family.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:...Family.

Cesare Borgia: (watching Lucrezia's baby sleep) Can I hold him?
Lucrezia Borgia: And wake him? That would be cruelty indeed.
Cesare Borgia: I must hold you, then. (he hugs her) Tell me again, my love- who was his father?
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles sadly) A groom, Paolo. But I called him Narcissus, so divine was his face.
Cesare Borgia: Should I envy him, then?
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles up at him) You have read your romances, dear Brother; you must know that such a love is impossible.
Cesare Borgia: Impossible loves- I am very much afraid they can become an addiction.
Lucrezia Borgia:... There is one your heart must find room for, Cesare. One you must love before you can love anyone.
Cesare Borgia: And, that one would be?...
Lucrezia Borgia: (squeezes his hand) Yourself.

Julia Farnese: (dressed as Minnerva at a Roman masquerade) Juno.
Vanozza Cattaneo: (dressed as Juno) Well spotted, Julia Farnese. (they dance) And, you are?...
Julia Farnese: You may call me Minnerva.
Vanozza Cattaneo: (smirks slightly) Oh, and to think- you were Venus, once.
Julia Farnese: And, I soon may be a vestal virgin. (Vanozza chuckles)
Vanozza Cattaneo: You fear for the constancy of your lover's affections?
Julia Farnese: And, if I may be so bold... I would ask for your advice.
Vanozza Cattaneo: When his eye wanders, as it did from me to you?
Julia Farnese: You must hate me.
Vanozza Cattaneo: No. And, if you would take my advice... don't do as I did; rage, remonstrate, play the wounded wife.
Julia Farnese: No? So, what is the goddess Juno's advice?
Vanozza Cattaneo: He is Janus tonight, is he not? He looks both ways. Allow him his fancy- let him look both ways. But, be sure one of those gazes falls on you.

Paolo [2.02]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (finds Vittoria back in her disguise, restoring the ancient Roman art works) Do you never rest? (Vittoria smiles) Where do you sleep?
Vittoria: (grins) Under silk covers, last night.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (chuckles, shakes his head) On a normal night.
Vittoria: On a straw bed, on a studio floor.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (crouches next to her) So, you know the streets of Rome- the slums, the tennants- you live among the common people.
Vittoria: I am one of them, Your Holiness.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (strokes her ear) Hmm- not for long, I would hazard, knowing your talents.
Vittoria:... Does the Pope of Rome not know his flock?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sighs and looks around)... You see the gilded cage we live in. We meet with princes and pergunters and prelates, and... very few of the common people. (pause, kisses her head) We might... need your assistance. (Cardinal Sforza appears behind them and clears his throat, the Pope stands up) Ah, Cardinal Sforza! Come to view our... Roman treasures? (gestures around them)
Ascanio Sforza: Etruscan, I would wager.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (surprised) Ah- the Cardinal is an expert in such matters?
Ascanio Sforza: The Cardinal has seen Donatello's David, and marveled at the source of its' eros. Now, he knows.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: And, the Cardinal thinks there may be scandal, perhaps?...
Ascanio Sforza: (stiffly) The Cardinal does not care. What the Cardinal does care about are the Vatican finances.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Ah- yes. (to Vittoria) You will excuse us, young maestro.

[Paolo has nearly been lured into a Roman brothel in search of Lucrezia]

Vertrice: Stop!
Paolo: (sharply) You mock me, fair lady.
Vertrice: If I did, forgive me- kind sir.
Paolo: My name is Paolo.
Vertrice: Vertrice. (smiles and takes his arm as they walk through Rome) I mistook you for a client! A girl has to work.
Paolo: Must you so debase yourself?
Vertrice: If I do not lift my skirts, I starve.
Paolo: Better to starve, surely.
Vertrice: What, like the rest of Rome? (gestures at some of the commoners) They were fed yesterday, but today they starve.
Paolo: But, there is such wealth and evidence here, my lady- how could anybody starve?
Vertrice: There is wealth, of course- but, we starve. Whilst Lucrezia Borgia dines on a silver plate. With a fork. You have heard of a fork, Paolo?
Paolo: No, my lady.
Vertrice: Well, it's all the rage, now- and I'll bet Lucrezia Borgia dines with a fork of solid gold.

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Cardinal Versucci
Cardinal Versucci: Your Holiness. (they sit)
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: (smiles) You have been in charge of the Office of Public Works for how many years?
Cardinal Versucci: (smiles) Oh, for as long as I have been a Cardinal, Your Holiness.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Mmm-two decades? (Versucci nods, chuckles) After which time the orphans of Rome find themselves destitute. (Versucci's smile vanishes) And, the Cardinal has built himself how many palaces?
Cardinal Versucci:... Three.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: You see the irony there?
Cardinal Versucci:... The poor will always be with us, Your Holiness.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (scoffs) The poor- like the pigeons! (storms down the hall, Versucci hastily follows)
Cardinal Versucci: I- I beg your pardon, Your Holiness-
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: Does the Cardinal believe the pigeons will always be with us?!
Cardinal Versucci: Is this a riddle? (the Pope whirls around and points at him)
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: We will have curatorial funds used for their declared purposes! Money destined for the poor should GO to the poor! (walks on into the next room, where Julia Farnese is sitting at a desk) So, we will have you go through the last two decades of your accounts, with one we have designated to supervise them: the Lady Julia Farnese. (puts his hand on Julia's shoulder)
Cardinal Versucci: (offended) What Your Holiness proposes is unthinkable!
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: What- that moneys destined for the poor should go to the poor?
Cardinal Versucci: That a woman should have access to curatorial accounts. (Rodrigo looks expectantly at Julia)
Julia Farnese: (mockingly, looking away from Versucci) Can a woman not count? Add, subtract?
Cardinal Versucci: Count her children, perhaps. (Julia spins around and glares at him)
Julia Farnese: (coldly) There's a new method, Cardinal. Devised by the Florentine bankers. (Versucci scoffs, Julia gets up and approaches him) It is called double-entry bookkeeping... and it proves a valuable tool in tracing all missing funds.
Rodrigo Borgia/ Alexander VI: So, the Cardinal shall help you in your efforts to source those missing funds- while we shall attend to another matter of worrisome import. (leaves)
Cardinal Versucci: (bows, seething) Your Holiness.

Lucrezia Borgia: (returns to her apartments after her midnight meeting with Paolo) Is he sleeping, nurse? (pulls back the curtains around her son's bed to reveal Cesare sitting next to it)
Cesare Borgia: (mildly disapproving) He did miss his mother.
Lucrezia Borgia: (shocked) Cesare!
Cesare Borgia: You have a lover, Sis?
Lucrezia Borgia: No, Brother. (closes the curtains, walks around the cradle) But, this child has a father.
Cesare Borgia: A stablehand.
Lucrezia Borgia:...Who has come to Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Ah- unwise.
Lucrezia Borgia: You disapprove?
Cesare Borgia: Not yet, but I know those who would.
Lucrezia Borgia: My father-
Cesare Borgia: Your brother.
Lucrezia Borgia: (sighs, sprawls over her own bed) My husband whipped him. My brother would flay him.
Cesare Borgia': Which is why you go out hooded.
Lucrezia Borgia: At night, like a phantom. (pause, she sighs, Cesare looks down) Cesare, he suffered for me in absolute silence. He would've died for me. The least I can do is let him see his child-
Cesare Borgia: You loved him, Sis?
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles slightly)... I did. Perhaps, I do.
Cesare Borgia: (stands, approaches her) Then you must see him.
Lucrezia Borgia: You would help me?
Cesare Borgia: (sprawls over the bed next to her) Once, and only once. Just... tell me what to do.
Lucrezia Borgia: Find us a room, where we can spend one night together away from prying eyes-
Cesare Borgia: (meets her eyes) One night. You promise?
Lucrezia Borgia: I promise.
Cesare Borgia: (pause) Go to our mother's house, tomorrow evening. She needs to see her grandchild, does she not?
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles) And?...
Cesare Borgia: Leave the rest to me.

[Paolo, having spent a night with Lucrezia and their son, is leaving Rome; he soon realizes he is being followed by two hooded men and stops. They do as well]

Paolo: Who walks with me?! (they don't answer; he breaks into a run, turns a corner and sees another cloaked man ahead of him) I mean you no harm, kind sir, whoever you may be! (he tries to flee but is caught by the other two men, who drag him forward; the third man removes his hood, revealing himself to be Juan)
Juan Borgia: Suicide. A sin even a Pope can't forgive. (puts a noose around Paolo's neck and tightens it) Because dead men can't confess.

The Beautiful Deception [2.03]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (trying to console Lucrezia, who is in deep mourning after Paolo's "suicide" and is refusing to nurse her crying son) Please talk to me, my love. You are the light of my life... the light of this family's life. If that light goes... (clutches her hand, worried)
Lucrezia Borgia:... I would ask just one thing of you, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Anything.
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks him straight in the eye) Permit my Paolo a Christian burial.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (closes his eyes quickly) He is a suicide- it is impossible. (Lucrezia sits up, holding a scrap of paper)
Lucrezia Borgia: This note was pinned to his sleeve. (Alexander takes it and examines it)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Yes. A suicide note-
Lucrezia Borgia: (angrily) But he could not read or write Father! (Alexander looks up at her, startled) My Paolo could not even pen his own name. (long pause)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... So, it was murder. (pause) Where is the murderer?
Lucrezia Borgia:...Too close for comfort.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sighs angrily) I will not have this family at war with itself!
Lucrezia Borgia: (coldly) And I would have my Paolo saved, from the fires of Hell.
Rodrigo Borgia: (nods resignedly)... And your infant must... feed.

Juan Borgia:... Holy Father.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (curtly) Have you come to confess? (Juan comes over to his chair, kneels and puts his arms around his father's shoulders)
Juan Borgia: That I am sorry, and-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sharply) For what?!
Juan Borgia:... For my sister... and for her loss.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (takes Juan's hand in his own) You... will choose a bride, in your ancestral homeland, Spain. You will travel there... And you will become the Borgia... that I always hoped you would be! (shoves Juan's hand aside and storms out)

French General: (to Caterina and Giovanni Sforza) And, if the King decides to ride north, your armies would ride with his?
Caterina Sforza: Yes- in return for a certain consideration.
French General: And, this... consideration? (he attempts to drink, but Caterina takes the glass from him)
Caterina Sforza: His cannon. (the French commanders chuckle)
French General: (smirks) You would have him leave his cannon to the Sforza armies?!
Caterina Sforza: Not every piece. But, enough to defend our castle at Forli- to replicate the great fortresses of France.

[the doors open to admit King Charles, still suffering from illness, in a makeshift wheelchair; the French commanders and the Sforzas bow]

Charles VIII: (looks up after a moment)...Giovanni Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: (gestures to Caterina) And my cousin, Caterina Sforza, Your Majesty.
Charles VIII: You have many cousins, I am told. (takes a cup of wine) Are they all impotent, like you? (the French laugh)
Giovanni Sforza: That is a vile Borgia slander- perpetrated by the Pope himself.
Charles VIII: (grins) Which is why you are here, of course- you would have a taste of vengeance. The Italian appetite for vengeance astounds even us, Lord Sforza-
Caterina Sforza: (steps forward) the Italian appetite for vengeance may be boundless, Majesty, but happily for you, the Spanish appetite for war is not. (Charles stares at her, intrigued)

[Micheletto is honing his knife-throwing skills on an anatomical drawing, when the Neapolitan taxidermist- now in the service of Charles- arrives]

Micheletto Corella: You have news for me?
Taxidermist: He's ordered the evacuation of Naples.
Micheletto Corella: So, the King will travel with his own troops, yes? (the taxidermist nods, Micheletto removes his knives from the paper)
Taxidermist: The Sforza armies, too.
Micheletto Corella:... It will take days to gather such an army- three, at least. So, I must hurry. (hangs a large pouch of money in front of the drawing, then heads for the door) This is for your retirement.
Taxidermist: (bows and clasps his hands) Thank you- thank you.

[As he moves past to take the money, Micheletto suddenly turns and throws a knife; the taxidermist screams, but the knife merely pinned his sleeve to the drawing]

Micheletto Corella: (warningly) And, for your silence. (the taxidermist hastily nods, Micheletto walks out)

[Cesare, with a two-man escort, rides outside the gates of Rome to parley with the Sforzas, at the head of the vast French Army]

Caterina Sforza: (fully armored) You make a manly figure on your horse, Cardinal- but the French cannon will soon break down your walls, and you will be impotent in the face of them. (Giovanni Sforza smirks)
Cesare Borgia: (calmly) My walls may yet prove stronger than you think, my Lady.
French soldiers: Part for the King! The King! Make way! (Charles, fully armored but still sick, rides out to join them)
Charles VIII: (coldly) We have Italian friends, Cardinal Borgia, but our business... is all French.
Cesare Borgia: And, that business is?
Charles VIII: To gain entry to the city of Rome. The easy way... or, the hard. You have decorate the walls of Rome with flags and pennants- to welcome us, I presume?
Cesare Borgia: (smirks) Your Highness is indeed welcome... to march on, past Rome.
Charles VIII: (furious) I warn you, Cardinal: I shall RAZE your city! Take terrible revenge on YOU, YOUR FAMILY AND THE PAPACY ITSELF!
Cesare Borgia: You must enter, first.
Charles VIII: My cannon will gain me entry! Twelve hours, I have been assured, to batter down those walls!
Cesare Borgia:... Perhaps my cannon will make their statement, first.

[He gestures. Micheletto cuts a line on the walltop, and all along the walls, the flags and pennants fall away, revealing a hundred plaster cannons painted to look like the real thing. Charles, his generals and the Sforzas look stunned]

Micheletto Corella: CANNONS, FORWARD! (the "cannons" are rolled into the attack position)
Caterina Sforza: (to herself) How did they manage to?...
Charles VIII: (ashen-faced)...General?
French General: (looking equally worried) Our battle line is still forming, my Liege.
Cesare Borgia: I must compliment Your Highness on his ingenuity. Chained cannonballs can take apart a regiment, like... a knife through butter. (Charles looks away) Are you not well, Your Highness?
Charles VIII: We have the Neapolitan fever.
Cesare Borgia: (nods) Perhaps battle should wait, then- until his full health returns. Or, perhaps he should trace his gracious path home- to fair France. (turns and rides back inside the gates)
French General: Do I give the signal, my Liege?
Charles VIII: Do I look like a fool, General?!
French General: No, my Liege. (pause)
Charles VIII: We ride on, past.

Stray Dogs [2.04]


[Cesare and Micheletto discover that the French soldiers raided the Convent of St. Cecilia in their withdrawal from the Papal States, raping and murdering the nuns]

Micheletto Corella: You should spare yourself this, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: Why? Why should I spare myself? (he walks through the burned-out nunnery, Micheletto follows with a torch) I should've foreseen this. (he looks up at the fresco he commissioned, with Ursula Bonadeo's face)
Micheletto Corella:... Your Eminence. (Cesare enters the next room to find Micheletto standing over the body of Ursula, with her ears cut off)
Cesare Borgia:...Ursula. (he kneels next to her and touches her bloodstained face) She chose God, Micheletto... and God repaid her with mutilation.
Micheletto Corella: I know little of God, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: (full of grief and rage) God is deaf, God is blind- God is pitiless. (pause) She has released my heart... of all emotions, but one. (looks up at Micheletto) Vengeance.
Micheletto Corella: (nods) Vengeance is sweet.
Cesare Borgia: So, who did this, my friend?
Micheletto Corella: The French. (picks up the remnants of a banner and examines it) This flag belongs to the cavalry of Gascony- these women were sport for army scouts.
Cesare Borgia: Scouts?
Micheletto Corella: They're renowned for their savagery- necklaces of severed ears. (Cesare removes his cloak and covers Ursula's body with it)
Cesare Borgia: We must give them a lesson, then- in outrage. (they walk away) You were once a stray dog, Micheletto- masterless.
Micheletto Corella: I found my master in you.
Cesare Borgia: There must be other stray dogs out there, in Rome.
Micheletto Corella: There are many. Sons of warlord families, condottiere who long have outlived their usefulness.
Cesare Borgia: Search out a dozen of them- whom we can school in the art of vengeance.

Cesare Borgia: (on Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua) He talks of honor, Father. There is nothing-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Interesting concept, honor, isn't it? It's like its' cousin, valor.
Cesare Borgia: (sarcastically) Honor has cousins?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Oh, it has many cousins.
Cesare Borgia: Rather like Cardinal Sforza.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (nods) And, they've all led Kings and armies to their doom.
Cesare Borgia: So, why should we now make common cause with Milan?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Because, when the French have left this "fair paradise", the Milanese will still be with us.
Cesare Borgia: So?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (smiles and shakes his head) This 'League'...cannot beat the French. Even in their weakened state. And, I doubt the French can beat this League. (pause) So, if the two armies batter each other to death... as the lawyers often say, qui berne?
Cesare Borgia: (nods) "Who benefits?"
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (nods) Mmm. A weakened Venice, a weakened Milan, a weakened Mantua. (shrugs) Has to be worth a weekend in Tuscany, surely. (Cesare smiles at his father's cunning, Rodrigo chuckles and slaps him on the shoulder)

Lucrezia Borgia: (observing the poor as she and Julia Farnese walk through Rome) These children need an orphanage!
Julia Farnese: Indeed, they do. But, the nunneries that used to care for them are starved of funds- and the orphanage on Piazzo Naverna is now a Cardinal's palace. Here, once stood a statue of the goddess Selas Minnerva- and here flowed crystal springwater from the Alban Hills.
Lucrezia Borgia: Statues are easily restored; water is not.
Julia Farnese: (looks directly at her) So- I would use my wit, and yours, to outwit those who divert funds, and water, from poor houses and palaces.
Lucrezia Borgia: (nods) Cardinals- and the Curia.
Julia Farnese: You are far too clever. (takes her arm and leads her away)
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles) It would be fun, to outwit a brace of Cardinals.
Julia Farnese: More than fun- it would save lives. And, there is one more brain I would engage in our cause: your mother's.
Lucrezia Borgia: (chuckles) My mother? But, she-
Julia Farnese: You must admit, three minds would be better than two. And, your mother and I are far beyond such enmities.

[Charles VIII calls a meeting with the Pope before the battle inside a church, which Cesare is spying on]

Charles VIII: We are ill, Your Holiness. This battle may well be our last- which is why we have requested a private audience.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Not for your... confession? (crosses himself before the altar and joins Charles at the table)
Charles VIII: My sins are many, Your Holiness, and they are all bloody ones. Perhaps, even the Pope of Rome... cannot forgive them.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: So, why have you requested our presence here?
Charles VIII: To use your diplomatic skills... to spare us this battle.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Well, perhaps if you were to surrender the booty you have pillaged, to our Holy Mother Church... we might do something.
Charles VIII: (smiles tightly) With respect, Your Holiness, you have fooled me once. For a man of God, yours... was a most ungodly stratagem.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (shrugs) So, why our presence?
Charles VIII: (angrily, gesturing to make his point) If they are fool enough to join battle with me, I will destroy them, utterly! I will be pitiless, I don't know the way, but my cannon will ANNIHILATE their armies! I will DRAG you, in chains, to Avignon and see you end your days in ignominy! All this, before I die. Are you listening, "Holy Father?!" (thunder sounds outside)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (flatly) ...We hear you. We will convey your words to the lead forces. (stands up, starts to leave, then stops) Ah! Listen. Is that the sound of rain? (sarcastically) Can, even the King of France light his cannon in the rain?
Charles VIII: (sneering) You think we don't know how to keep powder dry?!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (coldly) Do you think the Lord God doesn't know how to make rain?! (leaves)

The Choice [2.05]

Guiliano Della Rovere: Friar.
Girolamo Savanarola: (lighting candles) Are you the cleric in red?
Guiliano Della Rovere: I find the robes of your Order suit me better, at this... pitiful juncture.
Girolamo Savanarola: Have you taken our vows?
Guiliano Della Rovere: I can no longer serve the Pope of Rome.
Girolamo Savanarola: Ah, yes. I heard of your plans for his deposition. Your plans failed. Miserably.
Guiliano Della Rovere:...Indeed. I must confess to failure.
Girolamo Savanarola: Oh, so have you come here to make a confession of your failure?
Guiliano Della Rovere: No. I'm here to propose a solution to the sickness in our Holy Mother Church.
Girolamo Savanarola: (smirks) A solution?
Guiliano Della Rovere: We must remove him.
Girolamo Savanarola: From the Chair of St. Peter's?
Guiliano Della Rovere: From the Chair of St. Peter's-
Girolamo Savanarola: But you tried that already.
Guiliano Della Rovere: From the Chair of St. Peter's- and, from this world. (Savanarola pauses)
Girolamo Savanarola:... I shared a vision with you, once. Of the bloated figure of the Borgia Pope, lying blackened with sickness, on the floor of St. Peter's. No one dared approach it. Are you saying you're the one to bring this to pass?
Guiliano Della Rovere: Only if I have your blessing, Friar- and, the blessing of your Order.
Girolamo Savanarola: You have the blessing of the Lord- for He shall bring it to pass. And, if my vision was a true one, you will have my blessing- and the blessing of the Lord Himself. (pause) "Be the sword of the Apocalypse, the sword of Righteousness. Ride out like Death, on a Pale Horse." (gives Della Rovere a grim smile and leaves)

Caterina Sforza: (giving Cesare a tour of Forli Castle) My son, Benito, longs for a soldier's career.
Cesare Borgia: Mmm- It has much to recommend it.
Benito Sforza: You bear arms yourself, Signore Borgia?
Caterina Sforza: No, my love- he wears a Cardinal's skirt.
Benito Sforza: (glancing at Cesare's military garb) But, your dress is that of a-
Cesare Borgia: I am a civilian, today. An ambassador.
Caterina Sforza: He comes bearing a message from his father, the Pope of Rome. (turns to face Cesare) Have I guessed correctly, Cardinal?
Cesare Borgia: (smiles) You think so little of your charms?
Caterina Sforza: (smiles back) Oh- you've come to sample them, perhaps?
Cesare Borgia: Perhaps. (removes his cloak)
Caterina Sforza: While bearing a message from the Pope of Rome.
Cesare Borgia: The Pope does send his best regards, and would request your... beauteous presence at the Chair of St. Peter's.
Caterina Sforza: He would sample my charms also?
Cesare Borgia: (shrugs) Perhaps. He would feel your lips on his... Papal ring.
Caterina Sforza: (pause, steps towards Cesare) He would have me kneel to him. Bow.
Cesare Borgia: The whole world must bow to the Holy Father.
Caterina Sforza: (doesn't take her eyes of Cesare) Whom does your mother bow to, my son?
Benito Sforza: (proudly) Nobody.
Caterina Sforza: (smiles) You heard him, Cardinal. His mother bows to nobody.
Cesare Borgia: And, if "Nobody" were to sit at her table?...
Caterina Sforza: She would not bow. But there are other forms of obesence. (she walks into the dining room)
Benito Sforza: (follows her) Other, Mother?
Caterina Sforza: Indeed, my son. There is a form of surrender which implies no submission. It gave birth to you.
Benito Sforza:... I confess that I'm lost, Mother.
Caterina Sforza: (chuckles) Indeed, you are truly a soldier, made of hard wood! (pats his cheek, meets Cesare's gaze) But, the Cardinal must know... I only kneel when it suits me. As must the Holy Father.
Cesare Borgia: If you do not come willingly-
Caterina Sforza: Oh, hush, Cardinal, hush! You are our guest this fine evening- I'd have no discord between us. You can relay the Holy Father's message in its' fullness tomorrow.

Piero de Medici: We live in a fortress, now. Barricaded against the sea of zealots in the streets outside.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Hmm- "zealots".
Piero de Medici: Their fervor for the Friar's visions increases daily. They would ban all art and ornament, and they have set their sights on the coin of the Realm itself!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Money? Dear God...
Piero de Medici: They see gold and silver coin as part of the fallen world. They would reduce all exchange to a state of barter only possible in the Garden of Eden!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (pretending to examine a sculpture) Hmmm- and what of banking?
Piero de Medici: (scoffs, imitates Savanarola) "Did Adam need gold coin?! Did Eve need a bank?! Did Cain charge interest to Abel?!" (Machiavelli smiles briefly, Cardinal Sforza and Medici chuckle)
Ascanio Sforza: And what of the Church's deposits in your banks?
Piero de Medici: They would scatter them like chaff. (he starts to sit. Machiavelli clears his throat, and Medici hastily stands up again) And, if they knew, Holy Father, of your personal accounts, they would burn the bank to the ground.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Well, then- perhaps we had better have our wealth brought back to Rome. (Machiavelli frowns)
Piero de Medici: How? The Friar has his spies everywhere.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (shrugs) Well, perhaps the good Friar could be bought.
Piero de Medici: With money?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: No- a Bishopric. Generalship of the Dominican Order. (sits)
Piero de Medici: (also sits) The Dominican Order already does his bidding.
Niccolo Machiavelli: And, how can you buy one who would outlaw trade itself?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: You offer him something that money cannot buy. Heaven itself.

Augustino: Micheletto... we cannot meet again.
Micheletto Corella: Why?
Augustino: If I were caught, I would be disemboweled and burned-
Micheletto Corella: It's a cruel world!
Augustino: Too cruel. (Micheletto grabs him and twists him around into a headlock/stranglehold)
Micheletto Corella: I have killed many men in an embrace such as this-
Augustino: Did you love them, too? (Micheletto twists him sideways, indicating one of the graves)
Micheletto Corella: This grave- this is my father's grave. And I loved him too- when I held his head thus. (releases Augustino angrily) Now you go, and you be married. Some folk say it is better to marry- (kisses Augustino forcefully) than to burn.

Cesare Borgia: (sees Giovanni Sforza enter the room, starts and then smirks) My Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: I arrived in the early hours.
Cesare Borgia: You must have. You have... business with your cousin?
Giovanni Sforza: Matters of state? Always. (takes some food from the table and nibbles it)
Cesare Borgia: So she requested your presence here.
Giovanni Sforza: She told me it would be... appreciated.
Cesare Borgia: Mmm. And, can you tell me why?
Giovanni Sforza: To talk of your father's proposal to her.
Cesare Borgia: My father- the Pope?
Giovanni Sforza: Mmm- I can only think of him as your father. The father of that... slattern I was tricked into marrying-
Cesare Borgia: (exhales sharply in anger) Be careful, Lord Sforza.
Giovanni Sforza: What?
Cesare Borgia: I hold my sister's interests dear.
Giovanni Sforza: (smirks) Hmm- I'm aware of that. (pause) You humiliated me, before the whole of Rome. (Cesare smiles thinly)
Caterina Sforza: (enters the room) You shall have your answer, Cesare Borgia.
Cesare Borgia: It is why I am still here, my Lady.
Caterina Sforza: My answer is simple. It is no. (Giovanni smirks, Caterina starts to leave)
Cesare Borgia: Let me be clear. (she stops) You refuse to come to Rome? (Caterina smiles and leaves)
Giovanni Sforza: My cousin refuses to debase herself before that... swine that wears the Papal Tiara
Cesare Borgia: (with burning anger) That question was for her, my Lord.
Giovanni Sforza: And you have her answer.
Cesare Borgia: Yes- and you will have mine. (he stabs a knife into Giovanni's hand, pinning it to the table-top. Giovanni wrenches it free with a yell of pain; they scuffle, but Cesare quickly gains the upper hand, forcing his knife nearer and nearer to Giovanni's throat) I promised my sister your heart, on a dinner-plate! (finally forces the knife deep into Giovanni's throat, then turns him around and stabs him repeatedly in the belly and lower chest) But I can find no heart!

Day of Ashes [2.06]


[Cardinal Sforza enters the cathedral in Florence to find Friar Savanarola alone, fervently praying]

Ascanio Sforza: From our Holy Father. (Savanarola rises and turns around) Christ's vicar on Earth, the Bishop of Rome and the heir to St. Peter: a greeting and apostolic benediction to his most beloved son... Girolamo Savanarola. I am Cardinal Ascanio Sforza.
Girolamo Savanarola: The Vice-Chancellor.
Ascanio Sforza: Indeed.
Girolamo Savanarola: Then, you know all there is to know about corruption.
Ascanio Sforza:... His Holiness hears you are a zealous worker in God's service, at which he rejoices (Savanarola looks away in disgust)... and is intrigued to hear that you proclaim that your prophecies proceed directly from God. (Savanarola looks back at him) Is this so?
Girolamo Savanarola: God speaks through me. I hear his voice. Of this, there is no doubt.
Ascanio Sforza: As befits your vows of obedience, His Holiness would have you journey to Rome to discourse further with him on this matter-
Girolamo Savanarola: Has the Good Lord's lightning not yet silenced this...Borgia Pope? But, tell him my work is here, ridding Florence of its' sodomites and blasphemers. And, my work only will be ended... when the last sodomite is burning in Hell. (smiles coldly)
Ascanio Sforza: Perhaps a different destiny awaits you in Rome.
Girolamo Savanarola: In the Castell St. Angelo?
Ascanio Sforza: (chuckles and withdraws a Cardinal's hat from his cloak, offering it to Savanarola) No- in the Vatican.
Girolamo Savanarola: Oh- as Cardinal?
Ascanio Sforza: A seat in Consistory. (Savanarola takes the hat and walks back over the pulpit, looking at it thoughtfully)
Girolamo Savanarola: (turns back to Cardinal Sforza) No man can put a price on salvation. (throws the hat back at him, hitting him on the shoulder)

Cesare Borgia: (enters Lucrezia's quarters to find her watching her sleeping son Giovanni) The sleep of the innocent. (pause) I promised you a heart, Sister.
Lucrezia Borgia: Whose? Your own?
Cesare Borgia: I promised you the heart of Giovanni Sforza- on a dinner plate. (Lucrezia looks shocked) His blood... on this knife will have to suffice. (unwraps the bloodstained blade and shows it to her)
Lucrezia Borgia:... What does it say of us, Brother, that you...promise me this, and I would accept?
Cesare Borgia: Do you accept? (Lucrezia looks up at him, then walks across the room)
Lucrezia Borgia: I would rather have my innocence back. Be as I was, before I married that... vile man.
Cesare Borgia: (strokes her cheek) Impossible, I'm afraid- for either of us. (the Pope walks into the room)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Prime has been sung, terse approaches (kisses Lucrezia) yet some barely rouse their souls! (opens the window to let in sunlight and sighs in satisfaction) Darkness...into light!
Lucrezia Borgia: Father, Giovanni is sleeping.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Oh, yes yes yes! (lowers his voice, to Cesare) You have, um... broached the matter, my son?
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks at Cesare)... What matter? (Cesare looks away guiltily)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... The matter of Forli. (gives both of them a direct look) Our need for... the most sacred alliance. (pause) The matter, in a word, of marriage-
Lucrezia Borgia: (angry) Ah, I see. I am to be put back in the marketplace. (glares at Cesare, who folds his arms) Did you know of this, Brother? (turns to their father) And how secure did the last alliance you sold me into prove to be?!
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (firmly, but guiltily) It is your father's wish- we would have you married! It's as simple as that.
Lucrezia Borgia: (laughs sarcastically) I will not marry. Never again. So, there let it rest.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: We are shocked by this... ingratitude!
Lucrezia Borgia: Even so, I will not marry.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sharply) It is a daughter's duty to marry her father's choice! (Giovanni begins to wake)
Lucrezia Borgia: So, I am to have no voice in the matter?! I am to lie on my back and wait to be ravaged by a beast of your choosi-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Enough! Enough! This language... does not become you. (points at Cesare) And save your salt- say nothing.
Cesare Borgia: (coldly) I haven't uttered a word.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: No, but we can hear you thinking. (gestures at Lucrezia) This will come to pass- you shall see. Even if we drag you to the Basilica! (storms out as Giovanni begins to fuss, Lucrezia glares at Cesare and goes to quiet him)
Cesare Borgia: (sighs and sits down) Like me, you have just declared a war.

Cesare Borgia: (sees Machiavelli walking through Rome at night) Signor Machiavelli. (Machiavelli joins him, they walk into an ally) Welcome... to Rome.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (sarcastically) I appreciate the informality of your welcome.
Cesare Borgia: What is the news from Florence?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah- Officially, I am here to open the shutters on the Villa Medici for my master, Piero de Medici. Stones have been thrown at his house in Florence- large stones. He believes he will be safer here in Rome.
Cesare Borgia: Not without our protection.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (nods) The Medici have made many enemies, that cannot be contested.
Cesare Borgia: What of the Medici bank? Is it a sinking ship?
Niccolo Machiavelli: Oh, I am not a banker, but... it may have already sunk.
Cesare Borgia: You may not be a banker, but you are the Medici's Ambassador. You... know these things.
Niccolo Machiavelli: (shrugs) True, I have been privy to sensitive negotiations. Signor de Medici values my opinion- especially as he does not... have one of his own. But, I am really nothing more than a nuncio- a messenger boy. (they walk on)
Cesare Borgia: And what message does the boy bring? What of the Vatican funds?
Niccolo Machiavelli: (flatly) Every penny could be lost. (Cesare stares at him in disbelief) That is the sad truth of it.
Cesare Borgia:... Where has the money gone?
Niccolo Machiavelli: That is the golden question- you are not alone in wanting an answer. There are funds; the question is, where might they be?
Cesare Borgia: (impatient) Do you know?
Niccolo Machiavelli: I am told that what remains is on the move. Some here, some there... although, not on its' way to whom it belongs.
Cesare Borgia: Where?!
Niccolo Machiavelli: That, I do not know. Not yet. Until such time, it is as I told you: I am here to open the shutters of the Villa Medici.
Cesare Borgia: (gritting his teeth) Signor Machiavelli, a more... specific insight into this matter would be much appreciated. (he and Machiavelli bow to each other and depart)

Vanozza Cattaneo: Your father claims I have warned you against the dangers of marriage. (Lucrezia smiles) You have incurred his extreme displeasure. I think it might make him ill.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then father and daughter will be ill together! the thought of marriage turns my stomach.
Vanozza Cattaneo: It's within his prerogative to marry you to whomever he may please.
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, then let him do it. (flops back over her bed) And he can fish me out of the Tiber.
Vanozza Cattaneo: (looks at her) He's asked me to vet suitors on your behalf.
Lucrezia Borgia: (sits up, looking offended) And you agreed?
Vanozza Cattaneo: More or less. (Lucrezia sighs angrily) At least it leaves you with a choice! (sits next to her daughter)
Lucrezia Borgia: Mother, the man I married was a beast. I was little more than meat to him.
Vanozza Cattaneo: And yet, you took the stableboy as your lover. (they both smile)
Lucrezia Borgia: Well, that was different.
Vanozza Cattaneo: Then, there is hope for you yet.
Lucrezia Borgia:... I do not deny that the warm touch of a lover would ease the pain.
Vanozza Cattaneo: (takes Lucrezia by the chin and looks at her) So- all is not lost. (embraces her)

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Friar Savanarola berates us daily. He preaches... heresy. That God speaks to him, and him alone. He must be silenced. (pause, looks at Cesare) We charge you with this task- and this will require all your patience. (slaps Cesare on the arm) You will travel to Florence, and you will ban him from preaching the word of God.
Cesare Borgia: (scoffs) He will laugh in my face.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: of course. And then, we will charge him with heresy.
Cesare Borgia: He will laugh in your face.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Of course. And then, we will excommunicate him.
Cesare Borgia: (frowns) He will... deny your right to do so.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (smiles) Of course. And, then... we will burn him. (pause, Cesare smiles) Vengeance, you see, can wait...a lifetime, if necessary.

The Siege at Forli [2.07]


[Savanarola's child-acolytes are marking the doors of people who refuse to turn over their vanities; they are attempting to mark Machiavelli's door when Machiavelli himself opens it]

Children: Vanities! Your gold, your silver-
Niccolo Machiavelli: Wait- before you speak! (the boys silence) I would have you cease marking chalk crosses on my door. (nods to the lead boy) You may continue.
1st Child-Acolyte: Vanities! Your gold, your silver, your trinkets, your books. Give up your vanities!
Niccolo Machiavelli: (coldly) I have no vanities. I have only my intellect, which I am reluctant to relinquish- and, as you can see, with these looks, I have no vanity.
1st Child-Acolyte: (obviously parrotting Savanarola) An Eternity in Heaven or an Eternity in Hell! What will it be?!
Niccolo Machiavelli: (unimpressed) Hell.. is here, in this city! (gestures around them, steps forward, forcing the boy back) Heaven has, of late, been removed to another place!
2nd Child-Acolyte: Are you a sinner?
1st Child-Acolyte: The Son of Man will return in his Glory! And he will judge both the quick- and the dead! Give up your vanities, or face the Wroth of God!
Children: Give up your vanities! Give 'em up- give up your vanities!
2nd Child-Acolyte: Would you have us break your windows?
Niccolo Machiavelli: (contemptuously) So... God is now reduced to breaking windows. Wait- one moment. (closes the door. After a moment, he re-opens it, and- much to the bewilderment of the boys, offers them a glass case containing a stuffed eagle-owl) Here! (the lead boy takes it)
1st Child-Acolyte: Come to the square- (Machiavelli shuts the door in his face)

Truth and Lies [2.08]


World of Wonders [2.09]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (storming into Vanozza's villa) Vanozza!... Vanozza!...Vanozza! (Vanozza enters the dining room at the same time as him) Did you know of this?
Vanozza Cattaneo: Of what?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: That our daughter, betrothed to one, gives herself to the brother?!
Vanozza Cattaneo: (sarcastically) Lucrezia? It's not possible- how could she be so foolish?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (impatient) With the help of those around her, perhaps? What advice did you give her, hmm?
Vanozza Cattaneo: (sits down) I merely said, that if she married to please you, she may yet love to please herself.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sighs in exasperation) And you thought that wise?!
Vanozza Cattaneo: (curtly) I married one of your choosing, to be free to love you.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: But you are not the Pope's daughter!
Vanozza Cattaneo: Rodrigo, she will love whom she chooses- she is a Borgia. (Lucrezia enters, Rodrigo angrily turns on her)
Lucrezia Borgia: I hear the Palavacini boys have gone. (walks past him)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: Yes- because you would marry a pauper with a paintbrush! (Lucrezia kisses her mother,then turns to face him)
Lucrezia Borgia: (coldly) I would have married Calvino Palavacini, as you bid, dear Father- but, if I had followed my heart, I doubt I would have married either of them.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (sarcastically) Oh- so the future of this family is enthralled to your heart, hm? (Lucrezia's expression softens just a fraction)
Lucrezia Borgia: (strokes her father's chin)...If it is, it needs mending. Like my heart.

[Micheletto, Cesare and Machiavelli observe people carrying various pagan constructions through the wooded hills outside Florence]

Niccolo Machiavelli: These people trust their fates- their fortunes- to the power of spells. Come. (they follow the growing crowd) Savanarola understands that what haunts a man's mind in the night, is what rules him. He trades in the fear of Hell.

[as they cross the next hill, they notice a screaming woman bound to a wooden stake, being carried through the chanting crowd]

Woman: Untie me! Untie me! Please, I've done nothing!
Niccolo Machiavelli: (grimly)... Here is a different kind of bonfire.
Woman: God will punish you!
Cesare Borgia: (sickened)... What is her crime?
Niccolo Machiavelli: (shrugs, pretending it is obvious) She is a witch. People believe she has the power to cast them into Hell.
Cesare Borgia: (nods) Fear.
Niccolo Machiavelli: Fear of damnation. And, the hope of a better life in the next world. (they observe as the stake is affixed to the ground and wood piled around the shrieking woman) That is what Savanarola promises- he trades in miracles. Show him to be wrong... the man will burn. Just like the witch.

[The crowd lights the fire, and the woman, still cursing them and screaming, is burned. Cursing her back, the crowd begin feeding their pagan constructs into the fire]

Niccolo Machiavelli: If Angels can fall, from Heaven into Hell... then, so can we all. The Demon waits to devour us.
Cesare Borgia:... Then we must go wrestle with the Demon.

[As Savanarola is preaching in the Florentine Cathedral, Cesare flings open the doors and enters in his Cardinal's robes, bearing a torch]

Cesare Borgia: Girolamo Savanarola, I am Cardinal Cesare Borgia- and I come bearing the authority of His Holiness Alexander the Sixth, Pope of Rome!
Girolamo Savanarola: (points degradingly at him) Here is the Pope's messenger: his bastard son! (smirking) One of many, we hear- Father across the nation! (the congregation laughs and applauds, Cesare advances through them)
Cesare Borgia: Brother Savanarola, you stand accused of defying Papal orders to cease your heretical preaching, and of refusing to present yourself in Rome to bend your knee to our Holy Father!
Girolamo Savanarola: I recognize no such power! My authority comes from a higher being than your Godless Pope in Rome! (the congregation cheers)
Cesare Borgia: (smiles dangerously, draws level with Savanarola) Then we must put it to the test. (Savanarola looks confused, Cesare lifts his torch) A trial by fire; the whole of Florence can be judge and jury. (the congregation begin to mutter, shocked) I challenge you, here, in this temple of God- as Christ our savior walked on water, if you can walk through fire untouched... then I will follow you through the flames.

[Savanarola looks startled and frightened, but the congregation quickly begins to shout support for him and reach out to touch him; he is clearly unable to refuse without losing face]

Girolamo Savanarola: (fiercely, but more hesitant than before) God speaks through me. I am not afraid. I will walk through the fire... and he, he that follows me... will burn!

Juan Borgia: (limps into Lucrezia's room after her son's baptism) Sister. So, finally the bastard has a name. (Lucrezia glares at him as the maid leaves) Blessed by our Holy Father, and saved from damnation.
Lucrezia Borgia: (coldly) And you, dear Brother- will you be saved from damnation?
Juan Borgia: (puts his hand on the crib) The angels smile on me-
Lucrezia Borgia: (swats his hand away) Please don't! (Giovanni starts to fuss)
Juan Borgia: (leans malevolently close to her) One day, you'll realize that everything I've done has been for your own good. If you had tried to marry that waster from Genoa, the one with the paintbrush... I would've taken good care of him.
Lucrezia Borgia: (sarcastically) For the good of the family, no doubt?
Juan Borgia: (stares at her for a moment) Always. (limps across the room and sits)
Lucrezia Borgia: (angry and sad) Like you "took care" of Paolo- a stableboy- for the good of the family?!
Juan Borgia: (stares at her, indifferent) Exactly so. Everything I do is for the family. (Lucrezia looks nauseated) Were it not for our father's affection for your bastard son... I would've tossed that piglet into the Tiber at birth. It's the only baptism it deserves.
Lucrezia Borgia: We are all bastards. You, me, our brothers- we are all bastards!
Juan Borgia: Yes- perhaps. (stands up, limps menacingly close to her and Giovanni) But, we... are Borgia bastards. And there, dear Sis, lies the difference. (limps around the cradle, sets down his cane and picks up Giovanni) Hello, little piggy- time for a little dance, I think. (he walks onto the second floor the main hall, Lucrezia comes after him, frantic and enraged)
Lucrezia Borgia: Leave my baby! Juan, leave my baby alone! No, No!

[she gasps in horror as Juan carelessly dangles Giovanni over the rail above the celebrations. Giovanni begins to cry. Across the balcony, Cesare spots Juan and his expression turns dangerous]

Lucrezia Borgia: Leave my baby alone! (she finally manages to wrestle her son back from Juan's hands and flees back to the nursery)

[Juan emerges from an opium den where he has been covalescing, to find Cesare waiting for him]

Juan Borgia: (high from the opium) Brother. (limps towards Cesare) Have you come to beg forgiveness for your insult?
Cesare Borgia:... I have.
Juan Borgia: (claps him on the shoulder) You are already forgiven.

[Micheletto is shown killing Mohammed, the den's proprietor. Juan and Cesare walk through the night]

Juan Borgia: Imagine... that you're sitting on the edge of a vast well, your feet dangling over the edge. Moving slowly around the walls of the well, like smoke, there's... a world of wonders reaching down, as far as the eye can see.

[They reach a bridge across the Tiber and slow their pace; Micheletto silently draws level with them]

Juan Borgia: You see, these wonders... are your life. (pause) I glimpse us, Cesare. Two brothers in harmony, walking together. (smiles) All these visions are the work of tears.
Cesare Borgia: ...Tears of blood?
Juan Borgia:... No. (stops) Tears of the poppy. Everything is there for you to see. Your birth... and, of course, your death. But... but the miracle is, that there's no pain. (laughs shakily) I've been in pain, Cesare, for all my years. (pause) And, you... you are in pain, Brother. I can feel it.
Cesare Borgia: (face contorted with emotion)... Yes. I am in pain.
Juan Borgia:... You would end your pain. (embraces Cesare)
Cesare Borgia:... Yes. (pause) And I would end yours.

[Suddenly, Cesare stabs Juan with a dagger. Juan gasps, staggering back into the rail of the bridge, then pulls himself upright as Cesare stares at him, horrified. Micheletto silently closes in on Juan]

Juan Borgia: My Brother... what is this? (Cesare's face hardens again)
Cesare Borgia: Only God forgives. (stepping forward, he stabs Juan twice more in the stomach) We're Borgias. We never forgive. (He and Micheletto both grab Juan, holding him upright)
Micheletto Corella:... I stand in awe, Your Eminence.
Cesare Borgia: ...You killed your father.
Micheletto Corella: And still, I stand in awe.

[they heave the dying Juan over the rail, dropping him into the Tiber]

The Confession [2.10]


[Lucrezia sees Alfonso of Aragon entering St. Peter's with his entourage]

Lucrezia Borgia: Stop!... Who are you?
Alfonso of Aragon: (smiles pleasantly) I'm Prince Alfonso D'Aragona, Duke of Bisceglie and Prince of Salerno.
Lucrezia Borgia: What are you doing here?
Alfonso of Aragon: (not realizing who she is) I'm suitor to the Lady Lucrezia, daughter of His Holiness Alexander VI, Pope of Rome.
Lucrezia Borgia: (annoyed) Indeed. Lucrezia Borgia? (Alfonso nods, she decides to toy with him)...Poor boy. Come! I will take you to her. (she leads him away from his entourage into her apartments) So, you are suitor to the Lady Lucrezia?
Alfonso of Aragon: I am.
Lucrezia Borgia: A great responsibility for one so young. Take off your cloak. (Alfonso looks puzzled then smiles slightly)
Alfonso of Aragon: If I remove my cloak, what will you remove in return?
Lucrezia Borgia: You'll see. (gestures for him to take off the cloak) The Lady Lucrezia has a great many suitors. Some are wheat... some are chaff. And it falls to me, to separate the one from the other. (Alfonso smiles and removes his cloak)
Alfonso of Aragon: I am neither wheat, nor chaff. I am Alfonso D'Aragona... and I am flesh and blood.
Lucrezia Borgia: (sizing him up) Turn around.
Alfonso of Aragon: (shrugs) If it pleases you. (slowly turns in a circle)
Lucrezia Borgia: (smiles slightly)... It pleases me.
Alfonso of Aragon: Now, you must do the same in return. (walks slowly around her)
Lucrezia Borgia: (turns slowly in a circle) If it pleases you.
Alfonso of Aragon:...It pleases me. (smiles) So... What now? How far, does your Lady Lucrezia care for this game to go on?
Lucrezia Borgia: (shrugs, approaches him) There is no limit. Just as one would have one's groom break in a new it is, with my Lady's lovers and me.

[Savanarola has been tortured by Micheletto for days in the Castel St. Angelo]

Girolamo Savanarola:... I know what you are.
Micheletto Corella: (sarcastically, approaching the cage holding Savanarola) Yes?
Girolamo Savanarola: I have had your kind stoned to death, and their corpses... dragged through the streets.
Micheletto Corella: (kneels in front of the cage, so they are eye-to-eye)... My kind?
Girolamo Savanarola: Men... who lay with men. (disgustedly) Sodomites, who corrupt young, innocent boys- who artists use as angels. I have cleansed Florence... of her sin.

[Micheletto suddenly reaches through the bars towards Savanarola; the monk recoils, pressing himself against the far wall]

Micheletto Corella: (calmly) And yet, here I am. (Savanarola grunts noncommittally) Your last chance. Will you confess?
Girolamo Savanarola: To you... to you, never! (Micheletto stands and walks over to the rack) To your master... yes. And none else.

[Cesare bursts in on Alexander, who is accompanied by Vanozza, Julia, Lucrezia, and Cardinals Sforza, Piccolomini and Versucci. Juan's body has been found and is lying on the table]

Cesare Borgia: (triumphantly, brandishing the forged confession) Holy Father, I bring you the signed confession of the heretic Girolamo Savanarola of Florence! (he sees Juan's body and stops) What happened?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (gestures to Juan tearfully) He was... dragged from the Tiber. Dogs, cats... the stillborn offspring of prostitutes... and our son. (turns away)
Cesare Borgia: Leave us, Cardinals. (Sforza, Piccolomini and Versucci exit)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (embraces Cesare) Who would do such a thing? Who would dare?! Who had cause to wish him harm?
Lucrezia Borgia: (coolly, staring down at her brother's body) Any one of the many he harmed. (Julia and Vanozza stare at her)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (spins around) What? (Cesare releases him and moves towards Lucrezia) What did you say?
Lucrezia Borgia: (looks away) Nothing, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (angrily) What do you say?!
Lucrezia Borgia:(finally meets his eye) You asked, "who would do such a thing?" The answer is many people, Father. Many people.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (shocked and offended)...That does not stand! (gestures at Juan) Here lies your brother- murdered, in cold blood! And, you speak as if... (looks in disbelief at Cesare, Julia and Vanozza) "Many people?!" Many people, you say? Do you count yourself among that number?!
Lucrezia Borgia: I-
Cesare Borgia: Father-
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: LET HER SPEAK!
Lucrezia Borgia: (steps forward, tearful and angry) What would you have me say?! You know what he did to me! What he took from me- you all do! And you stood by, for the honor of the family. (pause) I have wished him dead a thousand times. And now, you want me to mourn him? I'm sorry, Father, I cannot. (she steps back, next to Cesare)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (stunned, hurt and angry, to Cesare)... And you? He was your brother- you show no tears? Are you stone?
Cesare Borgia:... I wept them all out for him, long ago. Over and over, I watched him fail, and I wept. (resentfully) You should know- you were there. And still, you- you granted him your every favor!

[Stunned and heartbroken, Rodrigo comes to Juan's side and stares down at him. When he looks up, his face is a mask of grief and anger]

Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (quietly, but with barely-contained rage) Take... yourselves, both... away from our SIGHT! (Cesare leads Lucrezia out)

[Cesare comes upon Rodrigo, still standing over Juan's body]

Cesare Borgia: So- Lucrezia is to be married.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (turns around, smiles feebly) The brightest and- bleakest of days.
Cesare Borgia: They say you're not eating.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (turns away, paces) We fast... We abstain. We scourge our flesh- we take all mortification- and still, we are punished.
Cesare Borgia: This is not God's doing, Father.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (tearfully) Everything is God's doing! (gestures at Juan) Until we find his murderer- until we scour all Italy- Juan shall not be buried!
Cesare Borgia: There must be a funeral. It is arranged-
Rodrigo Borgi/Alexander VI: NO! We will not send him to purgatory! He will have no rest, until we find who did this! (to himself) There can be no hiding place so deep we could not seek them out!
Cesare Borgia:... There will be no need of that. (Rodrigo turns around, stunned)
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Do you know who did this?
Cesare Borgia: (nods)...I do.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (moves towards him) Well, then tell us!
Cesare Borgia:... You truly wish to know?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (looks confused, then hesitant; sits down in front of Juan) Ahh... Well, we... must.
Cesare Borgia: (walks around Juan) Then first, I ask that you hear my confession.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI:... Your confession?
Cesare Borgia: And, I further ask that you release me, from my vows as Cardinal, and- and I ask for your forgiveness, of my sins.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (stares at him) What... sins have you committed?
Cesare Borgia: I have protected the Papacy against its' enemies, when none other would stand its' ground. I have made my family strong, in the face of those who would weaken it. I have brought low the heretic Savanarola and outwitted the French King, and all this, Father, all this- I've done for Rome, the Church, and for you.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (confused and frightened)... T-tell me your sins. (Cesare kneels next to him)
Cesare Borgia: It is this, and only this: That I have taken upon my head... the act that none other would dare commit... though its' commission, benefits all. (Rodrigo realizes what he means and looks horrified) I swore a vow, long ago, that I would put an end to anyone who brought dishonor on our family, dishonor on our own, dishonor on you.
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (horrified) Ohhh. Ohhh. OHHHH! (stands up hastily and clutches at Juan's shoulders)
Cesare Borgia: (shaking with emotion) So, you see, Father- the robes of a Cardinal no longer sit easy on my shoulders! (raises his fist) A Cardinal's ring makes it harder, to grip the hilt of a sword! I beg, that you will release me of my vows, and you will grant me your forgiveness! (long pause, Rodrigo stares tearfully at Juan's body)...Father?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (wearily) ...We release you from your vows.

[Cesare comes forward and offers Rodrigo his ring; when Rodrigo doesn't take it, he lays it on Juan's chest. As he leaves, Rodrigo begins shaking with sobs]

Cesare Borgia:... Father?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (to Antonello) Bring us some wine. (Cesare drinks, Antonello brings over the wine-pitcher, pours some into a cup, and drains it)
Antonello: (pause)... It is good, Holiness. (Rodrigo nods and gestures for him to pour; Antonello fills his goblet, then takes the tray across the room)
Cesare Borgia: (staring at the earth coating Rodrigo's hands and robes) What's happened to your hands, Father?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (glances at his filthy hands)... We have buried our son. (Cesare stares at him in disbelief) And, we realize now... that, we have brought this... upon ourselves. (takes a drink)
Cesare Borgia: Father...
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (shrugs) You, are our own doing. What you've done, is our doing also. We brought you to this. (Cesare looks away angrily) You say, we granted every favor to him... but, our favors fell on him so easily. Of their own accord! (sees Cesare is still resentful and sighs sadly, smiling) You are too much like me. A man feels less favor, for his own image, reflected.
Cesare Borgia: (long pause, trying to form the words) If I cannot have your affection... can you at least grant me, your forgiveness?
Rodrigo Borgia/Alexander VI: (conflicted expression) I...

[He trails off, frowning, then begins to choke. Cesare looks from him to Antonello- who is convulsing in agony and bleeding from the eyes. Cesare sweeps the wine-bottle and cups to the floor and lunges at Antonello just as he vomits blood and collapses on the floor; Rodrigo staggers to his feet, choking]

Cesare Borgia: Father? (Rodrigo staggers towards him) Father! No- Father! (Rodrigo begins to convulse and bleed from the mouth as he grabs Cesare's arm) HELP! (He cradles Rodrigo as the Pope collapses)
Lucrezia Borgia: (runs into the room with Vanozza, Julia and several others) Father!
Ascanio Sforza: Guards!
Cardinal Piccolomini: Holy Father-
Vanozza: Rodrigo!