Bridgerton – S01E02 – Shock and Delight [Transcript]

Simons apparent courtship of Daphne angers her brother Anthony Bridgerton and threatens to run the arrangements he made. Marina opens up to a curious Penelope.

Breathe, Your Grace.

– Push! – Breathe!

Yes! Yes!

Your Grace, I shall need you to push.

Very good. Yes!

You must breathe, Your Grace.

Someone must tell me something!

– Would you move? – What are you doing in here, Lady Danbury?

– I am going in, Your Grace. – No place for a lady in there.

Someone must be with her. If not her husband, then…

Push.

I must know if I am at long last to have a son.

Forceps.

– I can see the head. Push! – Push!

– Tell me! – Tell him!

– Breathe, Your Grace! – Yes.

– Push. – Push, Your Grace! Push!

What is it? What is it?

It is a boy, Your Grace.

I have a son.

I have a son!

Sarah!

I finally gave him…

a son.

Sarah.

Doctor!

There is too much blood.

Sarah…

A perfect son!

Simon Arthur Henry Fitzranulph Basset, the next Duke of Hastings!

Your Grace.

Would you like us to arrange the duchess’s room for you?

No.

That will not be necessary.

There will forever be just two words

that come to this author’s mind

the morning after any good party,

“shock” and “delight.”

Well, dear reader, the scandalous accounts from last night’s soiree at Vauxhall

are quite shocking and delightful indeed.

It has arrived, Your Majesty!

At once! At once!

Emerging, phoenix-like from the ashes of irrelevance,

is one Miss Daphne Bridgerton.

The illustrious debutante was seen dancing not once, but twice

with the season’s most eligible and most uncatchable rake,

the Duke of Hastings.

Where are you going so early, Your Grace?

To promenade.

He is smiling.

The duke rarely smiles.

Daphne has an excellent sense of humor.

She will need it.

Life as a duchess will have many demands.

Hosting balls,

greeting foreign dignitaries…

Daphne will not merely be in society.

She will be leading it.

I have prepared her quite well, Lady Danbury.

Mm.

– Eight balls. – No.

Eight balls.

You do want our plan to succeed, do you not?

The purpose of this arrangement

is to keep the marriage-minded mothers of the ton at bay,

not hurl myself directly into the lion’s den.

The purpose of this arrangement is to ensure I marry my very first season.

I shall grant you four.

– Six balls. – Five.

Six. And you must send flowers.

Today.

Expensive ones.

If you were truly courting me, you’d buy out every florist in town.

If I were truly courting you, I would not need flowers,

only five minutes alone with you in a drawing room.

I did not mean…

– Six balls, Your Grace. – Very well.

Though I shall see about the flowers.

And you must remember,

no one can know about our little arrangement.

Nor about what happened last night with Lord Berbrooke.

Ah, yes. How is your hand this morning?

You must know you did nothing wrong.

What I know is that even the rumor of my being alone with a man,

let alone punching him, will ruin me.

I have no interest in causing a scandal, Miss Bridgerton.

I should imagine with you it comes naturally.

Of course I don’t know. How would I know?

Because I can’t ask her. Because I don’t know how it happened.

It’s disturbing!

What are you girls talking about?

Penelope is wondering about Miss Thompson.

– Prudence… – What of Miss Thompson?

– Penelope has inquiries. – If you do not fall silent…

About Miss Thompson’s condition.

– I beg your pardon? – They know, ma’am.

How did it happen, Mama? Is there to be a baby?

That will be enough.

My lord, are you hearing this?

What are we going to do?

There’s no need for your hysterics.

Why is Miss Thompson to be kept away?

Because her condition is catching.

So, Daphne may be in love. Does she think it an accomplishment?

What exactly has she accomplished, then?

She certainly did not build that man or bake him. He simply showed up.

Now he straggles about.

He likes her face, probably.

Perhaps her hair.

Having a nice face and pleasant hair is not an accomplishment.

Do you know what is an accomplishment?

Attending university!

If I were a man, I could do that, you know.

Instead, I shall have to stand by and watch dear Mama appear proud

because some man should like to admire my sister’s face and hair

and fill her up with babies!

Oh, Penelope, you’re not listening to a word I say.

Whoa! Oh!

I know of someone… with child.

Is it your mama?

Is she not advanced in age?

I suppose your father should still want a boy…

It is not Mama.

It is a maid.

– Which one of your maids is married? – She is not married.

How did she become with child if she is not married?

I do not know, but I will find out.

You must.

Otherwise, how can we make sure it never happens to us?

We have accomplishments to acquire.

Two dances? With a duke?

He was quite taken with your sister, Hyacinth.

The entire party was, for that matter. All eyes were on Daphne.

– At least enjoy some toast, dearest. – I am not hungry, Mama.

Are you certain the entire party was not simply eyeing a tear in her dress?

Or a misstep she took on the dance floor?

I do wonder, Daphne, might we count on the duke at the Crawford ball?

– I should think it a fair chance. – What about the Ramsbury ball, Friday?

– And what about the grand picnic? – We shall see, Mama.

How terrible for Fran

that she’ll be off practicing pianoforte with Aunt Winnie all season

and miss Daphne’s engagement to the duke.

Did Francesca leave for Bath?

How does a lady come to be with child?

– Eloise, what a question! – I thought one needed to be married.

– What are you talking about? – Apparently, it’s not even a requirement.

Eloise, that is enough.

Oh, well…

Daphne, you were playing so lovely. Please, do go on.

– I take it the two of you know? – Do not look at me.

Have you ever visited a farm, El?

I hope you are not encouraging improper topics of conversation.

Not at all, Mother.

In fact, we were just heading off to…

take our sticks out.

– Colin Bridgerton! – A round of fencing.

– Miss? Humboldt is coming. – Humboldt is coming?

– Humboldt? – Why is Humboldt coming?

Has someone arrived, Humboldt?

Callers for Miss Daphne, ma’am.

But… the duke. You already have a caller, dearest.

Well, I suppose now I have more.

What is happening?

Coming through!

When you said you will be taking me to your family…

Move!

…I expected to be the only one present!

I wore my satin knee breeches for the occasion!

Out of my way at once!

Dear God!

I shall speak to my soon-to-be…

– No, Lord Berbrooke, you must go. – You said you wanted this handled quickly.

– You gave me your word. – I intend to keep it.

You’re the only man who proposed, therefore the only one I considered.

This is nothing more than a terrible confusion.

For now, you must go, along with everyone else.

– I should like to know what is going on. – I would like to know the very same.

Perhaps we might begin with why you chose to interrupt such an exquisite morning.

Because she is already engaged to be married.

The duke has already asked for your hand?

I am not engaged, Mama.

Has anyone truly proposed to me? No.

Have I proposed to anyone else? I do not believe I have.

– Do not be disrespectful, sister. – Disrespectful?

I cannot imagine a greater show of disrespect

than promising me to Nigel Berbrooke.

Anthony, tell me you did not.

– He’s a fine choice. I looked into him. – You promised your sister to that man?

– Not well enough, apparently. – What?

Does not matter.

I now have many choices indeed. I do not need…

You have suitors. You do not have what matters: proposals.

Except, of course, from Lord Berbrooke.

Whatever happened to his eye? It’s quite grotesque.

Daphne has charmed a duke, Anthony. You must know that changes everything.

Please do not tell me this rebellion is to do with Hastings.

They are courting.

They’ve danced a couple of times together at a ball.

Colin has done the same with Penelope.

It does not signify…

They promenaded this morning, and he sent flowers today to both of us.

Expensive ones.

The duke is not a serious suitor.

He will never marry.

I have known him since we were boys.

It is not bravado, or denial, or even immaturity.

It appears that way to me.

I will not marry Nigel Berbrooke.

I have acted in your best interests, sister.

One day, you will understand. One day, you will be most appreciative.

The contract to Berbrooke will be drawn up,

and you shall marry him.

– Mama… – You need not worry, dearest.

Once Lord Berbrooke witnesses the seriousness of the duke’s intentions,

he will have no choice but to retreat.

Lord Berbrooke may not respect a woman’s choice,

but he certainly will respect a man’s.

Well, and if the duke is not… serious, I shall have others.

Daphne, I saw the way the two of you looked at each other last night

and this morning.

There are no others.

There is only the duke.

Did you truly dance with the Bridgerton girl? Twice?

Remind me again why you were the first person

I chose to reacquaint myself with upon my return to town.

Admit it, friend.

You missed me.

– Might I have a word? – Have as many as you like, Bridgerton.

You’ll come down here, or must I come up there?

My fists have taken enough pounding from your chin today, Your Dukeship.

Well? What seems to be so urgent?

I’d like to know what was going through your head

last night and this morning.

You have to be more precise. A great deal goes on in a mind as quick as mine.

Are you courting my sister?

– Should I not be courting your sister? – No.

And I can think of dozens of reasons why, starting with, “She is my sister,”

and ending with, “She is already engaged to be married,”

and then perhaps circling back to, “She is my sister.”

I was unaware of an engagement. Have the banns been read, then?

I assure you all the formal preparations are underway.

I arranged everything with Nigel Berbrooke,

having given him my word.

So you have struck something squarely.

Your problem is that Berbrooke is an unworthy suitor for Miss Bridgerton.

He is perfectly decent.

He is never seen going in and out of brothels, at least.

I even know where he’s been the past few years, right here in London.

As opposed to some gambling hell, or backwater slum,

or wherever it was you chose to fuck about for God knows whatever reason.

Nigel Berbrooke is hardly a saint.

You are and have long been a good friend.

The best, really. But this is my sister.

Think of all that we have shared as friends.

It is furthest from my intentions to offend you,

but surely you can understand that family must come before all else!

Why is he not saying anything?

He is four years old. He should be able to speak.

He is quite advanced in his letters, more so than any child I have taught.

He would have to be bloody Shakespeare with his letters if he cannot speak.

Let us hear it, boy.

Give me a word, a grunt.

– Talk to me, damn you! – You’re scaring him!

And if that is what it should take, I shall get a sound from him still.

No.

What did you say?

D… D… D… D… Do…

n… n… n… not…

What is he doing?

– He’s an imbecile. – Your Grace…

He is an idiot!

My God.

Do you know how precarious of a situation we are in, boy?

We have been granted this line.

The monarchy itself has declared it.

But it will only remain ours

so long as we remain extraordinary.

The Hastings name cannot land

in the quivering hands of a half-wit!

Get him out of my sight.

This boy is dead to me.

I found you a few sweets.

I thought you might enjoy them

while everyone else attends tonight’s ball.

You can come in.

I’m sure there’s plenty to spare.

I hear they have decided not to send you home to your papa.

I dare say I am relieved. I can only imagine how he will react to…

Your condition?

Marina…

may I ask?

How did it happen?

Cake.

Cake?

Our vicar in Somerset was given to hours-long sermons.

Three, four, sometimes five hours they last.

I would nearly swoon from hunger and fatigue.

Until one Sunday,

just when I thought I’d have to crawl under the pew from exhaustion,

the eldest Crane boy, George…

Sir George Crane sneaked me a wrapped bundle of cake and biscuits.

The vicar would’ve had his head if he knew.

After some time, the bundles came to include small notes.

We passed tiny missives back and forth for months.

I’ve never longed for church quite so much.

– And where is Sir George now? – Spain.

He went off to fight with Wellington…

but he continued to write.

See?

So…

your condition, then, it was brought about by…

Love.

It was love, Penelope.

Your Majesty, the royal physician has a report on the king.

How is it possible there’s not been

a single compelling betrothal yet this season?

Terribly unexciting!

I could tell you a delicious tidbit about our former scullery maid.

I don’t care about a dish wench.

I wish to be entertained, enthralled.

Should the royal physician seek to tell me my husband is dead, Brimsley?

I do not believe so, Your Majesty.

Then tell him I am occupied,

and bring me my stationery at once.

Will it be the rubies or the pearls, miss?

The pearls, of course.

Mama, perhaps the rubies would better catch the eye of even more new suitors?

If I am not to put all my eggs in one basket,

I must…

collect more…

eggs.

The duke truly has put your head in a spin.

More like Lord Berbrooke must spin far away.

– Good heavens. What is it, Mrs. Wilson? – The queen, ma’am.

– Has she fallen ill? – Has King George caused her harm?

– Her Majesty’s royal stationery. – She has written to you, my lady.

What does it say, Mama?

I am invited to a private tea with the queen in two days’ time.

Never mind the pearls.

You shall wear the family diamonds tonight.

Would it pain you to wear some color, Your Grace?

The London season is already terribly monotonous as it is.

Must your wardrobe do the same?

– I was told this look is all the rage. – Certainly not mine.

Take my arm, before you make us late.

So, you are not dead, after all.

My lady, we were not expecting your visit.

Not once seen in London, no news of your education,

not a word about you from your father.

Yet here you are, alive and breathing.

Stand up, boy, so I may look at you.

Your mother would weep

to know her dearest friend was a stranger to her son.

You look just like her.

And a good thing too.

Lady Danbury, my lord.

I see you’ve not learned any manners.

Have you learned to read,

to write,

to ride a horse, to fence?

Then, why ever are you not in school?

I c… c… can

n… n… not

s… s… speak.

When I was a girl, some centuries ago,

I was afraid even of my own reflection.

I entered a room and attempted to dissolve into the shadows.

But there is only so long one in a position such as ours can hide.

I knew I would have to step into the light someday,

and I could not very well be frightened.

So, instead, I made myself frightening.

I sharpened my wit, my wardrobe, and my eye,

and I made myself the most terrifying creature

in any room I entered.

Come.

You can speak.

I understood you well enough.

And I will help you to overcome this stammer of yours.

But in exchange, you must promise me

that when you step into the light…

you will be worthy of the attention you command.

Hmm?

A dance, Miss Bridgerton?

I shall need someone else to seek me a glass of ratafia, then.

Lord Bridgerton…

do me the honor?

Of course, Lady Danbury.

Six balls no more. I must have you at eight.

– Along with a picnic. – A picnic?

I am afraid we are required

to fan the flames of our charade.

Oh, because of Lord Berbrooke, I presume? I heard.

We must make him believe that you are on the very precipice of a proposal…

so he will leave me alone.

I should hope I do not lose my balance, then.

I should hope not, either,

for you will be glued to my side all evening.

And we must look like we are enjoying ourselves,

as difficult as that may be.

Yes, quite.

Go dance with your sister.

– Why? – Because I asked you to!

Perhaps I was unclear.

Is it your wish for me to insult your sister, Bridgerton?

On the contrary.

You wish your sister to marry a loathsome toad, then.

Lord Bridgerton.

Forgive the intrusion,

but, if need be,

I will happily restate my intentions with respect to your sister.

She is a prize I have long coveted for her beauty, for her grace…

For her powerful right hook?

I must know whether I can count on you

to handle this misunderstanding, my lord?

I certainly wish to avoid any kind of embarrassment.

Rather late for that.

Are you too friendly with the duke or simply intimidated by his rank…

Easy, Berbrooke.

I assured you I will resolve the matter,

a matter which I shall remind the duke is none of his concern.

Perhaps you’re not the authority on what concerns me,

nor on the matter of Lord Berbrooke’s character.

I shall do my best by your sister, Bridgerton.

And perhaps even she might learn to return my affections over time.

Do come off it, Berbrooke.

I presume he failed to mention how he got that purple eye.

– I was careless with a cabinet door. – He was careless with his honor.

He attempted something last night I shan’t dignify with words

when your sister planted a facer.

Deservedly so.

My lord, you must know…

Daphne would have told me if this were true.

Would she?

You will never speak to my sister again, Berbrooke.

But we are to be married.

You are to be buried if you so much as look in her direction.

Be grateful you will not take a punch from yet another Bridgerton.

What has happened? Brother?

You need not worry about Berbrooke. Sister, it is done.

– You told him? – I had to say something.

– All will be well, though, I assure you. – You assure me?

Despite what you and my brother may think,

I am quite capable of speaking for myself. You had no right.

– I was trying to help. – Well, you did not.

All you did was underestimate Nigel’s entitlement.

Not to mention, people are watching.

You cannot assure me of anything.

A crush of an evening, Your Grace.

Would you not agree?

The young lady is as rare a treasure as there is.

Do try not to bungle it up.

Hmm? Thank you.

And how have you been?

– I think I shall take the air tonight. – Your Grace.

Only me, Your Grace.

Are you following me, Berbrooke?

I thought this matter settled.

It was settled until you had to go and spoil it.

I implore you to speak again with the viscount.

Last night was a mistake, I admit.

A temporary lack of judgment.

You understand that, do you not?

There is not and never will be any kind of understanding between the two of us.

– Go home, Berbrooke. – But you do not need her.

You’re a duke.

You already have the money, and the connections, and the standing.

I need her. Why can you not just let me have this one?

I think it really ought to be up to Miss Bridgerton.

When I am buying a horse, I do not negotiate with the horse.

Should you continue to follow me…

Why, then, have you not asked for her hand

if you are so fond of her, and she so smitten with you?

Why have you not already proposed?

Unless you have already had her.

If you have, you must tell me.

For if I had already known she was loose and damaged, not intact,

– I never would have… – Stop talking.

I shall not have you question the lady’s unimpeachable honor again.

Yes.

Yes, very well. That is all I had hoped to hear.

You do not deserve to breathe the same air as her.

Now, go home.

And you do?

I’ve heard the stories of your father, Hastings.

I know how badly he wanted a son, an heir,

and I know how badly he tried to get one

when it seemed your poor mother could not deliver.

If anyone were to ever turn a blind eye to a man’s temporary lack of judgment,

it would be you.

The apple should not fall very far, should it?

Your Grace, may I present Lady Danbury

and Lord Basset?

Well…

this is a most unwelcome intrusion.

I thought Your Grace might be relieved to know that your son is alive and well.

Your staff seemed somewhat surprised by the fact.

What is the point of your visit?

I am receiving high marks in all of my studies, sir.

I ride, and I fence, and I shoot…

exceptionally well, I am told.

I even…

I…

You are my worst failure.

I beg your pardon?

I am sure you do.

I shan’t again.

Might I remind you that this boy is to be the next Duke of Hastings,

and that he requires whatever reserves of fatherly nature reside

in that frigid heart of yours?

You may…

so long as I may remind you of your place,

which is out of my sight

and with your bitch mouth shut.

I wrote to you many times to let you know I’m…

I’m not…

not dead.

Did you receive my letters?

It is a deep enough wound to live with the knowledge

that you shall one day inherit Hastings,

but to witness your struggle is too great an insult.

You are as useless as your mother proved to be,

so I shall pursue the same recourse with you as I did with her,

to forget that you ever sullied these halls.

This author has often thought the heart

a most curious of instruments,

heeding neither reason nor rank.

For what possible explanation might Miss Bridgerton have

for entertaining the suit of a mere baron

when she seems to have secured a duke?

Could the debutante’s mind not be the only thing amiss?

The recipe is my own, miss.

I’m certain the duke should find it appealing.

It does not matter what the duke thinks, Rose.

He is gallant, is he not? With refined taste…

Stop.

Is the rouge not to your liking?

No.

It is perfect.

I should like some more.

Let it be known, dear reader,

that if this bizarre behavior portends yet another scandal,

then be sure that I shall uncover it,

for there is nothing like an excursion into nature

to lift the spirits and loosen the tongue.

I hear she may be courting with bumbling Berbrooke.

Quite a good match for her, I rather think.

– Mama, might I go play with Eloise? – A lady does not play, Penelope.

Forgive me, Mama. Might I go promenade for suitors with Eloise?

Very well, then.

What have you learned from your maid, the one who is in the family way?

– What happened? How did it happen? – She said it was love.

Love? That doesn’t stand to reason.

No, it certainly does not.

Look at my mama. Three children.

Would anyone presume that had anything to do with love?

Well, what else did she say? Was she not frightened?

More…

sad than frightened.

But there may be a chance for her to have a happy ending yet, I suppose.

She wants to escape to the country, where she and her love will marry.

Then she has even greater reason to be frightened.

Once she is married, her life is over. Scarcely an escape, Penelope.

Oh, that poor maid!

I was not aware, sister, of what Berbrooke attempted.

I would have helped you. You should have told me.

Would you have believed me?

Did you only change your mind about Lord Berbrooke

because another man told you the truth?

You truly esteem me so little?

After I apprised you of my wishes, and you proceeded to ignore them…

yes, brother, I do.

– You are late. – Apologies.

Should we rejoin your family at their camp?

Certainly not.

We must promenade past the group of men playing their games up ahead.

Whatever happened to your hand?

Boxing.

It’s an absurdity that passes for entertainment amongst men.

– My cuff, button it. – I beg your pardon?

You need not feel your evident worry. Berbrooke is…

Have you not heard what Whistledown writes of me still?

No. Even if you believe Lord Berbrooke is taken care of,

our ruse is not finished.

I’m still in need of a husband.

Though I am flattered, I’m afraid I must reject your proposal.

Yes, I know. You are not the marrying type.

Yet have you considered you are not the type women wish to marry?

I suppose if I were forced to take a wife,

you would be the least objectionable option.

– Is that meant to be a compliment? – Yes.

But it is no matter, for you wish to marry for love, do you not?

Of course I do.

They still looking?

Here he comes now.

Bridgerton!

What have you done?

I bring cheerful news, Bridgertons.

I have taken matters in my own hands

and sought a special license for my wedding to Miss Bridgerton.

– There is to be no wedding. – I told you. The arrangement is canceled.

Lord Berbrooke, you look in a great deal of pain.

Shall we continue this in a more private location?

I require no further conversation.

Though, perhaps I am finally speaking to the true head of the Bridgerton house.

For if it were you,

I imagine you would have instructed your sister to take better care

than to encourage certain attentions

while alone with me on the Dark Walk at Vauxhall.

Of course, mere hearsay of such a scandal could wreak havoc

on even the most influential of families.

What would someone like, say, Lady Whistledown do

with such unseemly information?

– Is that a threat? – It is certainly not.

Because in three days, I am to marry.

I have the diamond of the season.

I have the very best the ton has to offer.

I have a Bridgerton.

And I shall save her, as well as your entire family,

from the ruin which you could not protect them.

I look forward to the union of our great families.

Bridgerton.

Hastings.

I must issue my challenge to Berbrooke straight away.

Anthony…

I assure you I’ve been properly trained in the manner.

You are not to duel with Lord Berbrooke. Do you understand me?

I do not care what kind of training you think you may have.

It is illegal, not to mention positively horrific.

Gentlemen are left with no other choice, Mother.

When a young woman, let alone one’s sister,

is rumored to be dishonored, the consequences shall be deadly!

It is no solution.

Should Lord Berbrooke decide to make good on his threat

before you shoot him dead, brother, what happens then?

He may decide to open his tiny mouth at any moment,

and then I shall be ruined…

as will we all.

I must marry Nigel Berbrooke.

It is the only choice.

Rose, can you leave us for a moment?

I have taught you to believe

that marriage is the best that life has to offer,

and that remains true.

But it is not simply a partner that marriage provides.

You will have comfort and a house to tend,

and most importantly, children.

You will throw yourself into raising your family,

and you will find much joy.

I am certain.

You and Papa…

The two of you were so beautiful, Mama.

That is what I wanted.

That is all I hoped to one day find.

As did I.

Eloise Bridgerton.

Go on, then.

Chastise me.

Spare one for me?

Suppose I desire something different.

– How do you mean? – Just different.

I watch Daphne prepare for these balls

with all of those dresses and the many suitors,

and I am exhausted.

Suppose I want a different life,

that I truly believe I am quite capable of something more,

even when I am not allowed to have anything else.

Then I would say…

that you’re not the only one.

Still on that dance floor with Miss Bridgerton?

How is she?

She is to marry.

Then you are free to do as you please.

Another.

Your Majesty.

What do you think?

Of the music?

I find it quite beautiful.

Is it Mozart?

I became acquainted with Mr. Mozart when he was not ten years old.

The boy accompanied me as I sang an aria, and I declared then and there

that he should become one of the finest composers in Europe.

And certainly you were right.

I’m rarely wrong about such matters. Do you know why?

Because when I choose to extend to someone my favor,

I expect them to make good on it.

– Your Majesty, is this about… – Brimsley!

Fresh snuff.

That one is a terrible gossip.

If we were to speak freely in his presence,

before long, the whole of England would know our business.

I see.

I suppose you do see.

I expected a great future for your daughter

upon her entrance into society.

A future with someone like a duke, perhaps.

A pairing like that…

Well…

it would certainly be most enchanting indeed.

As I was saying,

the glow of success benefited not only the young maestro.

Surely the entire Mozart family would have felt the repercussions,

had their boys stayed forever in Salzburg.

Would you not agree?

Why, yes. Yes, I would.

But what are we to do, ma’am?

We are to invite Lady Berbrooke over for tea, Mrs. Wilson, at once.

– Nigel is my one and only child. – Mm-hmm.

Very special boy, indeed.

In fact, I often say God did not bless me with another

because perfection had already been achieved.

My goodness.

Mm.

Not every lady can be so blessed, I know.

Miss Bridgerton…

allow me to set my eyes upon you.

Mm.

Certainly healthy.

Even if your countenance is a bit drawn.

– It was a terribly late evening. – All the excitement, I suppose.

Yet you must try harder, dear.

My Nigel is quite discerning.

He already turned away many more handsome debutantes, saying,

“Mother…

…I prize accomplishment over beauty.”

Can you believe it?

Ooh! Oh!

That mistress of yours is going through the biscuits quick.

Do not worry, Rose. I shall handle it.

Housekeepers…

They believe themselves the sun and the moon,

when in truth, it is us lady’s maids that do all the hard work.

I have one just like her.

You are quite fortunate, though.

How troublesome could a household be

with only Lady Berbrooke and young Lord Berbrooke to look after?

Oh, you have no idea.

You ate but not one bite at tea, my dear!

A young lady must be well fed if she is to bear children.

Kippers on rye every morning worked wonders for me

when I conceived my Nigel.

What have you found?

What is going on?

You could not think I’d ask that woman for tea

without a thought for you, could you?

The help hears everything, as we all know.

She has heard a good deal, in fact.

Lord Berbrooke has a boy by one of his maids

that he refused to provide for.

Sent the maid and child away to live off scraps.

Horrible man.

Horrible enough for us to be rid of him, let us pray.

Well, he… He will only deny it.

And who will believe a group of women over a man’s word?

Perhaps no one.

But they will if Lady Whistledown does. So we shall do what women do.

We shall talk.

And the only reason he married her

is because his père squandered the accounts on some scheme in America.

Oh, mon Dieu.

Is it not the most lurid story of the season?

Perhaps not the most lurid.

Well, every baron has a bastard.

A bastard he sent away before the miss even popped?

You don’t say. Well, we must tell Jennie and Mary.

It has come to this author’s attention

that the ton is abuzz with a most sordid tale.

It is said one cannot judge a book by its cover.

But in the case of the bumbling Baron Berbrooke,

it seems his displeasing appearance is quite an apt metaphor

for the state of affairs in his household.

I would not be surprised

if Lord Berbrooke were called away to the country on alleged business…

Business which, perhaps,

might involve sending some much overdue funds

to one former maid and young boy,

who we can only hope takes after his mother.

I have heard talk that Berbrooke has left town.

I think this solution to our problem did not come about by chance.

I am resolved to handle matters differently in the future.

Or perhaps not at all.

I know society has dictated your present role in this family, Anthony,

but with Daphne officially out, I assure you, I am more than capable.

This is for Daphne.

Tulips.

They symbolize passion.

A most appropriate hem for your sister when she decides to marry the duke.

Perhaps your bride would like the same.

Good night, Mother.

Surely your mistress does not plan on confining me to this bedroom forever.

I should think one has only herself to blame for her confinement, miss.

Eloise.

Uh… Did you need something?

No.

Yes.

I am…

…glad this business with Nigel Berbrooke is over for you.

Thank you.

You hear stories about appalling arrangements,

and hopeless endings, and…

Well, it is all very frightening.

– Eloise, you mustn’t worry about… – Are you not frightened, too, sister?

Of marriage? Of… children?

I find children to be delightful.

Though, you are not currently proving my point.

Surely you’ve not forgotten what happened to Mama?

Her screams that night.

You tried to hide it by singing to me,

but her voice…

it rattled the windows.

I hear them sometimes still in my dreams.

She almost died…

mere months after Papa.

Of course I have not forgotten.

Of course…

I am frightened.

I dare say I would be a fool at this point not to be terrified.

You remember correctly that Mama had a…

perilous night.

But at dawn, the world had Hyacinth,

and we are all the richer for it.

Yes, Eloise, there…

are perhaps darker turns in these woods

than we’ve been taught to expect.

There is light to be found at their end.

And I know…

one day…

we both will find it.

It must be taxing.

What?

The game of pretend that you feel you must endlessly maintain.

Good evening.

You should not have lost your temper with Lord Berbrooke.

You should know something about me, Miss Bridgerton.

I will not tolerate a bully.

And you should know something about me, Your Grace.

I will not have this go wrong.

You mean our ruse?

It is more than a ruse now.

It is more than a negotiation.

This is not just about finding the best match

to impress Lady Whistledown…

or the queen, or any member of the ton.

This is about a life, Your Grace. My life.

I must finally take charge of it.

I cannot afford to do otherwise.

So I shall not have this go wrong.

If you are not in agreement, then you should tell me now.

I shall agree…

on one condition.

– You do not understand, Your Grace… – That you call me Simon.

If we are truly to seem to be courting, if this is to be a match like no other,

you should call me by my name.

Very well…

Simon.

Is there something funny about my name?

No, no, no.

It is a perfectly fine name.

Oh, perfectly fine?

Very well… Daphne.

I wish to find a husband…

so that I may have a family, children.

Then let us find you a husband.

May I have the pleasure?

Of course.

The two of you certainly make a captivating match, Your Grace.

Whatever is bothering you?

N-Nothing at all, Lady Danbury.

My… My son.

You have returned to take your rightful place.

My heart may be failing,

but I assure you,

it swells with pride,

knowing the duke you have grown into…

…and the great Hastings name shall continue.

Listen to me very closely…

for I have only returned to do but one thing…

…to make you a vow…

the only vow I will ever make in my life.

I will never marry.

I will never sire an heir.

The Hastings line will die with me.

Are my words clear enough for you, Father?

Speak, you fucking monster.

Speak!

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