ACT 1, SCENE 1 — THRONE ROOM:Edit
(In preparation for her beheading, Catherine runs through the motions with the executioner, but in typical Catherine fashion, she still carefully threads her corset, braids her hair and puts on expensive jewelry)
- CATHERINE (to the executioner): Make the blows sure and quick ...
(The executioner runs his axe across a blade, making sure it's sharp)
- CATHERINE (off-screen): Remember, I've paid you extra. I don't want my children to see you hacking at me.
(He tugs at the necklace, moving it out of the way)
- CATHERINE: Don't break the clasp! I've promised this necklace to one of my ladies
(Catherine's head lies on the block. The executioner looms above her, but before he removes her head from her neck, she receives a formal looking piece of paper)
- CATHERINE (raising up): Prawns?! My youngest daughter can't eat them.
(Catherine looks around the room in disgust, pointing out all of the flaws in the decorations)
- CATHERINE: The flowers! Full vases, cascading bouquets.. where are they?
- SERVANT: We were told by the King to save them until the actual day.
- CATHERINE: I need to see their placement.
(The servant hands Catherine the sheet of paper and she scoffs at it)
- CATHERINE: What about the wine 100 casks , flowing freely. The nobles will expect it. Yes, let them drink and swim in my blood, thinking theirs is next once that bastard Sebastian takes the throne.
ACT 1, SCENE 2 — ELSEWHERE IN THE REALM:Edit
(In a small cottage elsewhere in France, Lola is preparing herself for the last leg of the journey back to French court)
- LOLA (hearing a knock at the door): Come in, Please. I'm nearly ready.
- FRANCIS: No rush. They're bringing the horses around.
- LOLA: No rush? I feel awful we stopped at all. You swear you didn't do it for me, because I'm a terrible rider?
- FRANCIS: We gained time on horse-back we never would've achieved by carriage, but we needed rest.... the horses were about to drop as well. And in truth, it may not matter. My mother might already be dead.
- LOLA: Don't say that!
- FRANCIS: You might think she deserves it, after all she has done to Mary ..
- LOLA: I think even Mary would say that's all in the past.
- FRANCIS: It will be soon if I can convince my father to spare her life. It's unbelievable, really.
- LOLA: What?
- FRANCIS: If all goes well, Bash begins his life with Mary and I get exile. And my mother...
(Francis trails off)
- FRANCIS: Not for long...I'll set her up somewhere, far away, with my brothers and then, I'll be on to the next.
- LOLA: Where will you go?
- FRANCIS: I was thinking Morocco.
- LOLA: You don't think you'd stand out in Morocco?
- FRANCIS: Sweden then? Perhaps, it's a land you'll visit one day? ... Walking along a frozen river, a displaced prince will appear in front of you.
- LOLA: Well, I hope I never see you again.
(Francis looks down at his feet and becomes quiet)
- LOLA: Because you're safe..settled. Married with children of your own.
- FRANCIS: I hope the same for you.
(They both look at each other and smile faintly, before a look of concern comes over Lola's face)
- LOLA: Francis, when you see Mary...
(Francis interrupts her before she can finish her thought)
- FRANCIS: We ran into each other at a château outside of d'Angers ... Traveled with each other for a day, and that is all. I know you live your life in service to her.
- LOLA: Mary is my friend.
- FRANCIS: Nothing we did will change that.
ACT 1, SCENE 3 — BACK AT COURT:Edit
(In Nostradamus' bed chambers, he and a brunette lady are rolling around in bed)
- NOSTRADAMUS: That was lovely. I think you should go now.
- LADY: Don't do this to yourself. I won't leave you.
(Nostradamus sits up and is putting his clothes back on, while the lady protests)
- LADY: I need to know you're all right.
- NOSTRADAMUS (planting a kiss on her lips): if it comforts you...
(This seems to anger the lady, but Nostradamus remains insistent on carrying out his plan)
- LADY: Why do you do it?
- NOSTRADAMUS: Sometimes, when one is given a gift and worries they've lost it, they must return to its source: the giver itself.
(Nostradamus walks across the room and picks up a wooden stool)
- NOSTRADAMUS': 'And for me that is death, or as near death as I dare to venture.
(He climbs on top of the stool and puts his neck inside of a noose. A moment later, he has hung himself, accidently knocking the stool over as he gasps for air)
- LADY (frantically screaming): Stop it, please!
(She rushes over to him and unties the noose from a peg on the wall. Nostradamus falls to the ground)
- NOSTRADAMUS (still struggling to breathe): The vision.... I wasn't done.
- LADY: You saw something?
- NOSTRADAMUS: This changes everything. I will die for this. The queen will kill me herself.
ACT 1, SCENE 3 — IN THE THRONE ROOM OF THE CASTLE:Edit
(Mary and Bash enter into the throne room, where Catherine had just been practicing her execution. Servants and other personnel still shuffle about the room)
- BASH (to Mary): What a show...
- MARY: She's going out in style.
(Catherine moves some vases from one of the table, until she sees the King enter the room)
- CATHERINE (to herself): Must I do everything? Shall I catch my head in my own hands, too?
(The King avoids making eye contact)
- CATHERINE (to Henry): When can we talk about my tomb?
- KING HENRY: A Florentine sculptor? 20 tons of marble? I can't afford it.
(This angers Catherine. She storms off, across the room)
- KING HENRY: After the 100 musicians... the dozen ships made of silver and gold....
- QUEEN CATHERINE (interrupting him): Symbolic of my journey to Heaven.
(Catherine picks up a rose and smells it)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I'm not asking for a fleet.
- KING HENRY: You're not headed for Heaven either. You're dragging this out.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You have to wait for final word on Bash's legitimization anyway. Why kill me if the line of succession reverts to my sons?
- KING HENRY: You're a treasonous adulterer.
- QUEEN CATHERINE (sarcastically): Then I'll continue with the seating chart.
(Catherine spots Mary, Kenna and Bash talking across the room)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Mary, the feast will be held there. Choose your place of honor.
- KING HENRY: You are going to die. What they write about your execution won't matter.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: It will to my children.
(Henry has had enough. He storms away)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: 50 musicians and I'll reduce the gold inlay on my tomb!
(Suddenly, trumpets starts to play)
- MARY: What is that?
- BASH: There's a royal visitor.
(From across the courtyard, a woman wearing a beautiful black gown with a long veil enters the throne room. As she enters, she is greeted by all the royals in the castle, who nod respectfully)
- MARIE DE GUISE (seeing the axe from earlier): French court has gone to hell.
(Marie de Guise looks to Mary)
- MARIE DE GUISE: But I'm here now, dear.
- MARY: Mother.
ACT 1, SCENE 4 — IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(Mary and Marie de Guise, her mother, sit in Mary's room and chat privately)
- MARIE DE GUISE: So I sent you here to wed a king and find you engaged to a bastard. My darling, your engagement to Francis was a careful negotiation set in place when you were six. And now, you tell me that you threw it all away because of a prophecy.
- MARY: One I believe, Mother. I did this and Bash went along with it to save Francis's life.
- MARIE DE GUISE: From a fate a magician predicted.
- MARY: Mother, it's all very complicated. And we haven't been together in so long.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I came to the convent for your 11th birthday. Half the ship's crew died along the way, but I was there... Gift in hand.
- MARY: I only meant to say that I've missed you. And I wanted to talk to you about this, about Francis, about Bash, a-a-about everything. Please, don't make light of Nostradamus's warning... or my choice.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I make light of nothing concerning you, or our country's future...
(Mary cuts her off)
- MARY: ... Perhaps if you met Bash. He's-he's kind and-and selfless and brave.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Do you love him?
(Mary chooses her words very carefully)
- MARY: I'm beginning to... It-t all happened so fast.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Good. Perhaps there's still time for you to see things with a clear mind.
(Her mother grabs her hand and kisses her gently)
- MARIE DE GUISE: I've wanted to be with you as well, but there is trouble at home. Scotland is in peril.
- MARY: The English, I know.
- MARIE DE GUISE: It's worse.Our country is on the knife's edge of falling into Protestantism. And we are Catholic rulers. You need France--a Catholic country, at your side, now. Marry its next king, and the Protestants will scurry into the darkness. Marry Francis. Not some bastard who someday *might* be king.
- MARY: His name is Sebastian.
- MARIE DE GUISE: It has the same ring to it. Well, I have no choice but to support you, as I rule Scotland, but you are actually its queen. And my daughter. So headstrong.
(Marie de Guise is almost mocking Mary at this point)
- MARIE DE GUISE: So loving.
- MARY: So you'll be patient?
(She wraps her arms around Mary and embraces her)
- MARIE DE GUISE: Yes.
ELSEWHERE IN THE CASTLE:
(Mary bursts into Bash's bedchambers, unannounced, but clearly upset)
- BASH: Mary. Are you all right? Is all well with your mother?
- MARY: Yes. She's just as I remember her, in ways that I often thought I had imagined.
(Bash takes her by the hands)
- MARY: I used to love the smell of her perfume, the the tenor of her voice... even now, when she lied to me. She doesn't want us getting married. She will stop it. We have to elope. Today. Now.
ACT 2: Edit
ACT 2, SCENE 1 — BASH'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(Bash and Mary scramble to make plans for their wedding, after the arrival of Mary's mother)
- BASH: There's a church just east of the old village, by the quarry.
- MARY: I wish that I could come with you.
- BASH: Let me get it all arranged. It might take a few hours, and if we're both missing, people will notice. If I'm not back by midday, we have our priest. Get on a horse and meet me at the church before sunset.
(Bash plants a passionate kiss on Mary's lips and lingers there for a moment)
- BASH: Don't plan on sleeping this night, wife.
(He turns to leave the castle. Mary watches as he runs, touching the place his lips once met hers and smiling from ear to ear)
ACT 2, SCENE 2 — THE THRONE ROOM:Edit
(Marie de Guise and Catherine meet in the throne room and catch up)
- MARIE DE GUISE: At least you're moving about freely now.
- CATHERINE: Guarded, but with the mobility required to plan my death.
- MARIE DE GUISE: How was the dungeon? Were there fleas? Were you paraded through the town, mocked?
- CATHERINE: I was in the tower.
(Catherine pauses, realizing she is being mocked)
- CATHERINE: I realize you're not happy with the turn events have taken, but must you paint a bleaker picture of my fall?
- MARIE DE GUISE: I trusted you with Mary's life. Not just her survival, though I hear you threatened that, too. I gave up every moment of being a mother to my own child, based on your word that you would raise her to be Francis's wife.
- CATHERINE: What did you think, when you traded a child for the protection of France? That we would put her welfare above ours? Lord knows you didn't. You gave her away to secure your rule.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I had an infant -- a girl -- not even a week old when my husband died, and she was crowned queen. I met unexpected horrors and tragedy and I faced them with courage. You... One charlatan scared you by whispering in your ear about your son's death: a future no one could know, and you changed the course of nations.
- CATHERINE: Nostradamus's accuracy is an inarguable feat.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Here's a feat: Women like you and me, surviving in this age.
(Marie de Guise laughs at the thought)
- MARIE DE GUISE: I have sold my soul, and my child, to protect myself and my nation. Mary may be Scotland's queen, but I am its king.
- CATHERINE: Has Scotland noticed that its king has rather overexposed breasts?
- MARIE DE GUISE: It is beginning to.
- CATHERINE: Ah.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Now that Mary's come of age, they look beyond me, they want her, and I want her protected by France...France's true king. Not some bastard they can knock off the throne, whose life only took form because you couldn't keep your husband's interest in bed.
- CATHERINE: I am defeated. If you want to fix this, do it yourself.
(Marie looks at Catherine, gives her a laugh and a nod and goes on to work her charm)
ACT 2, SCENE 3 — IN A CASTLE CORRIDOR:Edit
(Elsewhere in the castle, Mary and Kenna walk along a corridor. Greer finally arrives, carrying a white, lace veil, which she gives to Mary)
- GREER: Ah, here it is. My mother had it packed deep in one of my trunks.
- MARY: Well, it's beautiful, but will it be warm enough?
- GREER: This isn't for your journey to the chapel. It's for you to cover your face as you and Bash stand before God and profess your love.
(From the corner of her eye, Greer spots a figuring entering the castle)
- GREER: Is that Lola?
(Kenna and Mary both turn around and look as well. Seconds later, they see Francis emerge behind her)
- KENNA: Why is she with Francis?
(Finally, Lola reaches the girls and they greet one another)
- LOLA: Mary. Kenna, Greer.
(She gives Kenna and Greer a warm embrace. While Mary and Francis' eyes meet for the first time since he left court after her proposal to Bash)
- LOLA (bowing to Mary): Your Grace.
- MARY: You're back.
(Mary formally acknowledges Francis)
- MARY: Both of you. Uh, your carriage, why didn't they announce your arrival at the gate?
- LOLA: We ran into each other at a château near d'Angers.
- MARY: You came back together?
- LOLA: We rode. There were floods. The carriage I leased was swept away in the night. Can you imagine?
- MARY: Along the river.
- KENNA: You were at the Château de Martin?
(Kenna eyes Lola suspiciously, sensing something is off with her story)
- LOLA: You know it? Yes.
- LOLA: I'll get settled then.
(Lola notices Mary looking at Francis and she tries to smile through the anxiousness)
- LOLA: So happy to be back.
- MARY: Yes, we're happy to have you back.
(Kenna and Greer accompany Lola back to her quarters, leaving Mary and Francis alone)
- MARY: You heard about your mother? I'm so sorry.
- FRANCIS: I'm back to plead with my father for her life. I'll be gone from court once I have my answer and the matter is settled, and you and I will never see each other again. I don't mean that to sound cruel or angry.
- MARY: I understand. You don't want to be seen as someone lying in wait to reclaim your throne.
- FRANCIS: Or anything else that now belongs to my brother.
(Francis bows to Mary and takes off into the castle)
ACT 2, SCENE 4 — NOSTRADAMUS' CHAMBERS:Edit
(In Nostradamus' chambers, Catherine gives him the mask Clarissa wore, given to her by Mary before her death)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: They brought this back, after Clarissa's death. I thought you might want to have it, as you were more parent to her than I. They buried her in an unmarked grave near the lake, where the North Road ends. I asked them to mark it with a cross, but it's unhallowed ground.
(Nostradamus takes the artifact, while Catherine moves across the room, her face etched with pain)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: What will become of her soul, I wonder? Did she know any happiness in her miserable life?
- NOSTRADAMUS: When she was young. The villagers who raised her for a time were kind.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: How do you know that?
- NOSTRADAMUS: She spoke of them... Of their games. A song they'd sing to calm her to sleep. Sometimes, I'd-d-d hear her sing it softly, to herself.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: How lonely. And haunting.
- NOSTRADAMUS: Yes.
- NOSTRADAMUS: I'm going to tell you something that might enrage you. Since Mary's arrival, I've had visions of Francis's death.
(Nostradamus recalls some of those visions, which include drops of blood falling onto white flowers, him falling to his knees, his hands covered in blood and blood dripping from his ear)
- NOSTRADAMUS: Violent images. They vary, but they were always tied to Mary.But they stopped completely when Clarissa died. I have beckoned them, every way I know how, because I had to be sure.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Sure of what?
- NOSTRADAMUS: That Francis might live with Mary.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: How can that be possible?
- NOSTRADAMUS: I warned you that Francis, your firstborn, would die because of Mary..
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You were very clear.
- NOSTRADAMUS: Before either of us knew Clarissa was your firstborn.
(Catherine rises from the chair and grabs Nostradamus by the neck angrily)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: The blood that has been spilled, my blood yet, was because of what you foresaw.
- NOSTRADAMUS: It's not a science, it's a gift. Sometimes I hear voices, other times it's a feeling, a certainty ... as solid as stone.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: And this new feeling?
- NOSTRADAMUS: It came to me today. I saw their life together, and it is happy.
(Nostradamus recalls the vision he had earlier that day. In the future, Mary and Francis are laying in bed together)
- MARY: After dinner, and your usual game of catch with Anne, James is going to want your attention, too, with his reading.
- FRANCIS: I'll have him work on it.
- MARY: You promise.
(Francis lovingly touches Mary's face)
- MARY: Promise me, I mean it.
(He returns back to his conversation with Catherine, in the present)
- NOSTRADAMUS: They have children, as he is alive.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Children?
(Catherine becomes very emotional, she finds it difficult to contain them)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You see them years beyond their union?
- NOSTRADAMUS: Yes.
(Catherine finally lets her emotions out. Her eyes tear up and she puts her hands into a prayer, as she is thanking God)
- NOSTRADAMUS: Use this to save yourself. Tell Henry you've had a change of heart. That you won't stand in the way of their union.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: This has gone so far beyond me standing in the way of anything. I am convicted of adultery (screaming)! Of treason! Mary is with Sebastian. And my son Francis...
(Nostradamus interrupts her)
- NOSTRADAMUS: ....Has returned to court.
(Catherine's anger disappears)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You are brave to come to me with this. Because if I can't convince Mary to wed Francis, if I can't undo your mistakes, I will lose my head. But not before I watch you burned to death. I promise you that.
ACT 3, SCENE 1 — IN CATHERINE'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(After speaking with Mary, Francis goes to find his mother, to see what's going on and to formulate a plan to get her out of the castle. After leaving one of the corridors, Catherine spots Francis and runs to his side)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Francis!
- FRANCIS: Mother.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Ah, it's true! You're back!
(Catherine wraps his arms around him and kisses his face numerous times)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Oh, thank God.
- FRANCIS: They tell me Father's out hunting pheasant beyond the South Keep. I'm going to find him, get him to see reason... and I'll get you away from here.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: No, no, Francis. There's something else that you must do.
(She pulls him away from prying eyes)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Everything I did, I did for you.
- FRANCIS: You needn't remind me.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I need you to forget all of it.
- FRANCIS: What?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: .... Everything I warned you of. The warnings I gave Mary. Go to her, tell her that I believe the two of you can be wed.
- FRANCIS: I don't understand.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Your fate has changed.
(Francis rolls his eyes)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Oh, what does it matter? You never believed that Nostradamus had the power to see the future anyway. What matters is that you love Mary.
- FRANCIS: I did love Mary. You destroyed that.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Nonsense. She's with Bash now, but she loves you.
- FRANCIS: You don't know that. I don't know that.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: What matters is what you want. Is it Mary? Is it to save my life? Is it the throne of France? Is it the safety of your brothers? Say it, say it!! I know it's true!
- FRANCIS: Yes. Yes, of course, I want all those things.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Then tell Mary I will cause her no harm ever. And that she will cause you no harm by loving you. By marrying you. Go to her.
(Mary's mother has been listening in. She inserts herself into the conversation)
- MARIE DE GUISE: But do it quickly.
(She looks over, seeing the spark in Catherine's eyes once again)
- MARIE DE GUISE: I see your son's return has restored your will to live.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: It's because he will live.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Your magic has changed. How silly and marvelous. (to Francis) You don't believe in prophecies, do you?
- FRANCIS: No, I never did.
(Francis looks at Marie, remembering her from somewhere)
- FRANCIS: You're Marie de Guise.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Your future mother-in-law, if you so desire. If you get on your horse, and stop Mary from making the biggest mistake of her life.
- FRANCIS: Where is she?
- MARIE DE GUISE: Heading for a church near a quarry. The servants talked about a village nearly destroyed by the plague.
(Catherine looks at her, wondering how she knew that information)
- MARIE DE GUISE: Yes, I bribed them. He may as well know who I am, if we're to be kin.
- FRANCIS: I know the place.
- MARIE DE GUISE: Then hurry. Before your brother gets his hands on everything you want.
(Francis runs off, while Marie and Catherine smile at each other in triumph. Meanwhile, Bash waits outside the castle for Mary)
ACT 3, SCENE 2 — NEAR THE KING'S CHAMBERSEdit
(King Henry walks through the castle's corridor, until a servant approaches him)
- SERVANT: Your Majesty, a messenger has arrived. He said there's news regarding the line of succession.
- KING HENRY: About Sebastian?
- SERVANT: He awaits you in your throne room.
ACT 3, SCENE 3 — IN THE VILLAGEEdit
(Bash stands alone in a small cemetary outside the village. Finally, Francis arrives)
- FRANCIS: Brother
- BASH (confused): Francis?
- FRANCIS: I'm going to tell you something... And it will hurt. I know you're here to elope with Mary. You don't need to. All that nonsense about the prophecy, it's gone now. My mother's let it go for reasons she can explain. I'm going to tell Mary. She'll talk to my mother, to Nostradamus. She'll be convinced.
- BASH: She won't trust Catherine. I don't trust Catherine.
- FRANCIS: You don't want things to change, to revert. You're going to play on Mary's fear.
- BASH: She came with me willingly. And she will stay with me.
- FRANCIS: She turned to you because she had to. It was only a marriage of convenience.
- BASH: And what was yours?
- FRANCIS: It went beyond that. You know it.
- BASH: And now you know ours did, too.
- FRANCIS: You're lying.
- BASH: You entitled son of a bitch.
- FRANCIS: You. You're nothing.
(Bash rears back and punches Francis in the face, bloodying his lip. After a second, Francis launches at him and pushes him onto the ground. They both exchange punches until Mary finally arrives on horseback)
- MARY (yelling): Stop! Francis! Bash! Stop! Stop! Please, stop!
(She jumps down and breaks them up)
- FRANCIS: You don't have to marry him! It's all over! My mother, Nostradamus, they say we can be wed.
- MARY: What do you mean?
- FRANCIS: There is no prophecy keeping us apart. Please, listen...
- BASH: Does it matter? Mary, nothing needs to change. We can still be wed.
- MARY: What do you mean, no prophecy?
- FRANCIS: Even Nostradamus will tell you. Your fate is your own when it comes to who will you marry. Him or me.
ACT 3, SCENE 4 — BACK AT THE CASTLE:Edit
(Mary enters Catherine's chambers without knocking)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I knew he would get to you in time.
- MARY: Did your seer tell you that, too? Is this a game to you?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Nostradamus told me the prophecy was fulfilled with Clarissa's death.
- MARY: How can I believe you when you have so much to lose?
(Catherine walks over to her nightstand, picks up a shard of glass and slits her wrist with it)
- MARY: Oh, God, what are you doing?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Do nothing, and I will die.
(She throws the bloody glass across the room)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Watch me, if that's what it takes to convince you I'm not putting my life ahead of my son's. I never have.
- MARY: Stop this.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I'll be beheaded if you don't choose Francis anyway. I'd rather die today to show you that I mean every word that I say.
- MARY: Is this some kind of trick?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Test me.
(Catherine doubles over in pain, with her blood seeping down her arm)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Ask Nostradamus to explain how the future he sees for you and Francis has altered since Clarissa's death. Oh, yes. Be sure. Be very sure. I would want every certainty, too.
(Mary rushes over to Catherine and attends to her wound)
- MARY: I'm not sure. I'm not sure about anything. I believe you, but ...
- QUEEN CATHERINE: .... you don't know what you want.
- MARY: I love them. I love them both.
(A servant enters the room)
- SERVANT: Begging your pardon, Your Majesties, but the king demands your presence.
ACT 3, SCENE 5 — IN THE THRONE ROOMEdit
(The King has gathered all of court into the throne room, with Mary, Bash, Francis, Catherine, Marie de Guise and the ladies in waiting)
- KING HENRY: A messenger has arrived with news about the line of succession of England. Their queen is dead.
- MARY: And she has named me her successor?
- KING HENRY: After all her deliberations, they say she died suddenly in the night. But England is yours by bloodline, by right. You must claim it immediately, or your cousin Elizabeth will seize it from your grasp. You risk everything if you don't act now. If you want the Vatican's righteous support for anything you do, for the rest of your life, you will claim England now. If you want France as an ally, you will claim England now. If you want to take England, you will need the next king of France by your side. And you will wed one of my sons tonight.
- MARY: I will take my life in my own hands. And I will not be bullied by you.
ACT 4, SCENE 1 — IN THE KING'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(As Henry files back into his room, a servant enters)
- SERVANT: Lady Kenna requests a visit, Your Majesty.
- KING HENRY: No.
- SERVANT: She requests that I inform you that she's naked under her robe.
(King Henry takes a minute to contemplate letting her in)
- KING HENRY: Send her in.
- KENNA: It's nice to see you're still on your feet.
- KING HENRY: What does that mean?
- KENNA: I watched you take it lying down for weeks now, from all the women in your life. You don't like being bossed around by a girl, do you?
- KING HENRY: Is this meant to arouse?
- KENNA: I was wrong to blame and demand things of you. I should have blamed you, absolutely. I also should have offered you more of what you'd like... for what I'd like.
- KING HENRY: You're offering me sex for a husband? I could get sex anywhere.
- KENNA: Not from me. How little it would take for you to write me an introduction or two.
- KING HENRY: You're not exactly inspiring me to send you away.
- KENNA: What if I offered to stay here at the castle, even if I were married, at your beck and call? You'd have Diane. I'd have my station, my position. Find me a rich noble who treats me right, and I'll treat you right as well.
(Kenna kisses him seductively)
- KING HENRY: You've learned many skills at court.
- KENNA: Teach me more.
(Kenna slips off her robe)
- KENNA: One suitor a week until I choose. Agreed?
- KING HENRY: Agreed.
(Kenna starts taking off his clothing)
- KING HENRY: No.
(He stops her by grabbing her hair)
- KING HENRY: No more. I'm in charge now.
ACT 4, SCENE 2 — IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(Mary paces around her room, until she hears a knock on the door)
- MARY: Have you found my mother? I need her now, more than ever.
- GREER: They said she's with the king.
- MARY: Trying to wring more out of Henry before I'm married to anyone, no doubt.
- GREER: But who will you marry? Have you spoken with Bash?
- MARY: No.
- GREER: Francis?
(Suddenly, she hears another knock on the door. Catherine enters carrying a note)
- QUEEN CATHERINE (to Greer): Could we have a moment?
- QUEEN CATHERINE: What an eventful day. Francis's return, news of the queen's death and this.... News from the Vatican. If this letter confirms Sebastian's legitimization, it should take away any reservations you have about a bastard at your side instead of a King, as Bash will be King one day. If it denies his legitimization, how could Bash blame you for returning to Francis?
(Catherine hands Mary the letter, sensing her reservations)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: I know you think you love them both. While that may be true, I argue that you love one more.
- MARY: I am afraid.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Open it.
(Finally, Mary opens the letter and gasps)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: Now you're free to go to the man you love.
ACT 4, SCENE 3 — IN BASH'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(In his chambers, Sebastian sits looking into a mirror, cleaning the blood from his face)
- MARY (entering his chambers): I can't marry you.
- BASH: Yes, you can. Don't let your mother put ideas in your head about my ability to protect you, because I will be King. We can force the Pope's hand.
- MARY: I know that.
- BASH: With me, you are free and wild. You can be who you are, and I will always put you first.
- MARY: Please, don't.
- BASH: Say that you love me. Say it to me once, because I know that you do.
- MARY: I love you, I do.
- BASH: Say it. Say the rest. I need to hear it.
- MARY: I love Francis more.
(Bash nods in understanding and Mary leaves his chambers in tears. After exiting, she sees Francis and she rushes into his arms and kisses him)
- FRANCIS: What's this?
- MARY: Open it.
- FRANCIS: It's blank. It's nothing.
- MARY: She let me decide. It's odd, isn't it? That your mother was the one to show me what was truly in my heart. You. It's you. It's always been you.
- FRANCIS: Does this mean you'll marry me?
- MARY: Yes.
(She kisses him again)
- MARY: We must protect Sebastian. There are those who will punish him for reaching for the throne.
- FRANCIS: Of course. I'll make sure of it.
ACT 4, SCENE 4 — IN BASH'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(Francis enters hastily)
- FRANCIS: I am sorry for the way things have gone, but the outcome is this. You need to leave here and never come back. You've reached for the crown, and you failed to get it. You'll be seen by many as a threat.
- BASH: The crown was never in my grasp, but I had Mary, and it galls you.
- FRANCIS: I was going to disappear in exile. That's your goal now, if you want to survive. My guards will take you south of here to a ship set for the southern coast of Spain, and from there, you should keep going.
- BASH: You needed to vanish because you would have been a displaced king. But I'm just a bastard. In time, a very short time, if you'd accepted my presence, the nobles would, too, and I'd be safe. If you were so inclined.
- FRANCIS: I'm not so inclined.
- BASH: Well, there it is the truth between us at last.
- FRANCIS: Make sure what's between us, brother, is distance. If you want to survive.
ACT 5: Edit
ACT 5, SCENE 1 — IN MARY'S CHAMBERS:Edit
(In preparation of the wedding, Marie de Guise helps Mary with her attire)
- MARIE DE GUISE (laughing): It was all to legitimize Bash. Now Henry looks benevolent, forgiving.
(Marie holds a pair of beautiful earrings up to Mary's ear)
- MARIE DE GUISE: Your father gave me these.
(She puts them in Mary's hand and whispers some advice)
- MARIE DE GUISE: Make some heirs quick as you can. It's a queen's sons that give her power after all, though we've handled the misfortune of your sex, haven't we? Brave girls are we.
(On the other side of the room, Kenna and Lola talk in hushed tones)
- KENNA: Greer said you were upset.
- LOLA: I came to your room last night to cheer you with hot cocoa, but your servant said you were meeting with the king.
- KENNA: So?
- LOLA: It was very late. If you're back with him, I think it's a mistake.
- KENNA: I know the château you claim to stay at in Angers where you ran into Francis. It burned down last year. I don't know what happened between the two of you, but I can guess, so please don't counsel me on mistakes.
MARIE DE GUISE: Come along, girls, be of service to your queen.
ACT 5, SCENE 2 — IN THE BANQUET HALL:Edit
(Servants are decorating the castle for the wedding. From across the room, Nostadamus hears a song and he angrily approaches the girl whom is singing)
- NOSTRADAMUS: Who are you? Why are you singing that song?
- GIRL: I was told to sing it near you.
- NOSTRADAMUS: By who?
- GIRL: I was paid by another who was paid by a girl I don't know who.
- NOSTRADAMUS: She's dead. That girl is dead. It's impossible.
ACT 5, SCENE 3 — THE WEDDING:Edit
(At the wedding ceremony, Catherine stands next to Marie de Guise)
- QUEEN CATHERINE: The messenger who delivered the news of the English queen's death isn't here.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I suppose he knew he'd served his purpose and that your invitation was a mere courtesy, a thanks for giving us both what we want.
- QUEEN CATHERINE: You bribed him to bear false news.
- MARIE DE GUISE: To get the job done, as you failed in that task completely. You can thank me later.
(Finally, Mary enters wearing a beautiful white gown and a veil. Her ladies follow her down the aisle, carrying the train of her dress. During the wedding itself, she is presented with a contract for her marriage. She glances back at her mother before she signs, waiting until she nods before she gives her signature. Meanwhile, Nostradamus goes looking for Clarissa's gravesite. When he finds the cross Catherine mentions, there is no body there, but footprints leading away from the site)
- NOSTRADAMUS (to himself): Clarissa... She's alive.
ACT 6, SCENE 1 — THE WEDDING RECEPTION:Edit
(At the reception, Francis and Mary enter the banquet for their reception. Flower petals fall from the top of the room like rain, as the newlyweds share their first dance, with everyone else dancing around them. Meanwhile, Henry slips out of the room and approaches Bash, who is preparing his leave from court)
- KING HENRY: You missed the wedding.
- BASH: I thought it best.
- KING HENRY: I've been thinking about what's best for all of us as well.
- BASH: I'm leaving. You needn't worry.
- KING HENRY: And yet I do. So you won't be leaving us just yet.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE RECEPTION:
(As Mary enjoys the party, her mother interrupts her)
- MARIE DE GUISE: I have some news to share. Turns out the English queen isn't dead after all.
- MARY: The English queen is alive?
- MARIE DE GUISE: Catherine's aware, but I would keep the news to yourself.
- MARY: You did this. To see me married.
- MARIE DE GUISE: The messenger's news was flawed. No one could blame that on me, or you. Everyone needs a little push on occasion. Even queens... Even France. All happiness comes with a price.And you paid yours with another's broken heart.
- MARY: Sebastian...
- MARIE DE GUISE: .... will survive.
- GREER: It's time for the consummation.
- MARY: A moment, please.
(Mary waits for Greer to walk away before she gives her mother a piece of her mind)
- MARY: Get out. Get out of my life. Get out of France.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I know you're angry, but you have everything you ever wanted.
- MARY: And more power than you.
- MARIE DE GUISE: I'm your mother. I am ruling Scotland for you
- MARY: Do that. And mind me, do it well. When I return to Scotland, to our home, it will either be because you have failed, or because you are dead.
(Nostradamus finally returns to the castle after searching for Clarissa's corpse. After he enters, he spots Mary and Francis across the room, happily in love. Suddenly, he has another vision.. the same one from earlier, but a bit longer this time)
- MARY: After dinner, your usual game of catch with Anne, James is going to want your attention, too, with his reading.
- FRANCIS: I'll have him work on it.
- MARY: You promise?
(Francis touches Mary lovingly on the cheek)
- MARY: Promise me, I mean it. Promise me you'll try. One year of marriage, it isn't enough.
(Mary's eyes well up in tears)
- MARY: Fight, Francis, please. I will give you children. Don't give up on our dreams.... On the life we could have.
(Francis looks very loopy. He raises his head on the pillow and blood falls from his ear)
- FRANCIS: Such a beautiful dream.
- MARY: No. No, Francis, don't leave me.
(Francis closes his eyes and dies in Mary's arms. BACK IN REALITY, the vision is ended as Catherine approaches Nostradamus at the table)
QUEEN CATHERINE: So many years before them. I know I threatened you. In truth, I'm so glad you had the courage to tell me how their fate had changed.
NOSTRADAMUS (ignoring his vision): Yes. They will be together for many years.
ACT 6, SCENE 2 — THE CONSUMATION:Edit
(Henry and Bash walk through the castle)
- KING HENRY (to Bash): I do this not out of any malice, as you are my son, but to ensure peace. So that should you return, you have seared into your memory what is yours and what is not.
(Henry has bound Bash's hands together and he forces him to watch Mary and Francis consummate their marriage for the first time. After a few seconds, Mary and Francis look up and see Sebastian watching them, but they continue kissing anyway, with the whole room silent as a pin dropping)
(After being kicked out of the castle, Francis' men escort Sebastian out of France)
- GUARD: You're not a very trusting fellow, are you?
- BASH: I was a lot more trusting before you took my weapons.
- GUARD: You'll get those back as soon as you leave us. They say you're a threat to the realm, but your family wants you safe. Alive.
- BASH: Yes.
- GUARD: You're not thirsty?
- BASH: I have my own, thanks.
(Suddenly, the men pull their swords, but Bash was a step ahead of them, already having pulled one out. He slaughers each of the men one-by-one)
- BASH (standing over a mortally wounded guard): Who paid you to kill me? The queen or my brother?
(The man dies before Bash gets an answer. So he hops on horseback and heads back toward the castle)