Wilde (1997) Script

He's coming! He's coming!


All right, now. Let's give a good Colorado welcome here!

Hello, sir. You're most welcome. Thank you, thank you.

All right, everybody, listen up.

I want to introduce you to Oscar Wilde.

Welcome to the Matchless Silver Mine.

Today, we opened up a new seam.

We're gonna name it after you.

How very kind.

I look forward to collecting the royalties.

Now, why don't you follow me over here.

Great lecture you gave last night. We're honored to have you visit us.

If you'd just like to step in here. There ya go, sir.

I thought I was descending into hell... but with these angel faces to greet me, it must be paradise.

Is this the way to my personal seam?

Of course, I should have preferred gold... purple and gold.

But we live in a Silver Age, alas.

So much that is exquisitely beautiful is wrought from suffering, from pain... from toil... broken bones and blistered skin.

Benevenuto Cellini understood silver.

He took the metal that you mine so nobly down here... and transformed it into works of art for popes and princes.

Cellini... is he a wop?

The Renaissance man, in every sense.

The greatest silversmith the world has ever seen... but a genius in life as well as art.

He experimented with every vice known to man.

He committed murder. He killed a man?

More than one.

Thank you.

I'd like to meet Cellini. Why didn't you bring him with you?

I'm afraid he's dead.

Who shot him?


Is Miss Lloyd connected to Lloyd's Bank?

A pity.

But she's comfortable, Ada.

A thousand a year.

Then I congratulate you, Lady Wilde.

Now that Oscar's been to America and sown his Wildean oats... it's time he settled down.

But weren't they very rough? No, charming. Well, charming to me.

With each other, it's true they could be a little brusque.

They hanged two men in the theater one night before I gave a lecture.

I felt like the sorbet after a side of beef.

I know your friend is famous, Ada... notorious, at least... but I don't understand for what.

For being himself, Lady Mount-Temple.

Don't Americans talk the most wonderful slang, though?

Well, I did hear one lady say...

"After the heel-lick I shifted my day goods."

What on earth did she mean?

She meant that she changed her clothes after a dance.

Connie, my love, Lady Mount-Temple is so anxious to meet you.

I knew your father, Miss Lloyd.

She's delightful, and not stupid. Really, not stupid at all.

Is that quite a reason to marry her?

Well, I must marry someone.

And my mother has our future planned out in every detail:

I'm to go into Parliament, we're to have a nice house... and live a proper, settled life... literature, lectures... the House of Commons, receptions for the world in general at 5:00.

How dreary.

Your attendance will not be required at those.

But your sphinxiness will be essential for our intimate little dinners at 8:00.

It will be a grand life, a charming life.

I see Constance will be busy preparing the dinners... but what will she contribute to the literature and lectures?

She'll correct the proofs of my articles.

Oh, what a little sunbeam.

I do love her, Ada. She's...

Silent.

I find her very silent. But so sympathetic.

And I do need an audience.


I don't see how you can possibly take it all in, reading at that speed.

Try me.

I know better.

Where are we dining tonight?

At the Leversons.

Then you must show your true colors as a propagandist for dress reform.

The cinnamon cashmere trousers, I think.

And the cape with the ends that turn up into sleeves.

I don't think I can wear those trousers anymore.

A new Wilde for the world!

Another genius for Ireland!

We shall have to buy you a whole new wardrobe.

Ernest proposed to me under that statue.

Really, the things that go on in front of works of art are quite appalling.

The police should interfere.

We were made not to marry, whereas you and Constance are so happy.

Everyone says so.

It's perfectly monstrous how people say things behind one's back... that are absolutely true.

So your audience has proved as responsive as you hoped?

Receptive, yes. Responsive?

I always wonder what she's thinking.

I expect it's about the baby.

Yes. Well, Constance is such a natural mother.

She's invited Robbie into the nest while his parents are abroad.

Robbie is Canadian. You can tell by his youth.

Have you been brought to England to mature, Mr. Ross?

Well, that was the idea, but it doesn't seem to be working.

I've lived here since I was three, and you see the pitiful result.

Robbie comes from a long line of imperial governors.

His grandfather was Prime Minister of Upper Canada.

Or was it Lower Canada?

The British will take their class system with them wherever they go.

They apply it even to continents.

Are you planning to govern a continent?

No. I don't even plan to govern myself.

Very nicely turned leg.

Hello, sir.

Shall I give you these, my love? I'll see if I can find a cab.

Coming through there, gents. Mind your backs.

Can you move out of the way, please?

Looking for someone?

Cab, cab!

Bedtime.

Just one more cigarette.

No. No, thanks, Robbie.

Don't stay up too late, Robbie.

Good night.

Good night, Oscar.

Good night, Robbie.

He's asleep.

He's so beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as his mother.

I don't know what I'd do without you, my constant Constance.

Good night, my dear.

Good night.

A university education is an admirable thing, of course... so long as you remember that nothing worth knowing can ever be taught... least of all at Cambridge.

But you told me... in ancient Greece the older men taught the younger.

They drew them out.

I look forward to being drawn out immensely.

Yes, well, Greek love... platonic love... is the highest form of affection known to man, of course.

You also told me... that the Greeks put statues of Apollo in the bride's chamber... so she would have beautiful sons.

But I can't help noticing that here the statue's in your bedroom.

Constance prefers a bath.

She was so beautiful when I married her, Robbie.

Slim, white as a lily... such dancing eyes.

I've never seen such love in a pair of eyes.

She was...


Nothing should reveal the body... but the body.

Didn't you say?

There has to be a first time for everything, Oscar...

even for you.

Hush. There's a good little fellow.

Come on. Come on, now. There.

Now, come on, Cyril. It's time for your bath.

Be a good boy. Don't make such a fuss!

You've got to get undressed. Come on.

I know you hate it.

Boys, Mrs. Wilde, they never do what they're told.

Oh, we're going to have a girl next time.

Aren't we, Oscar? I must go.

Good night, my dear. Now you behave, Cyril.

Remember, a gentleman should take a bath at least once a year.

Good night. Come on, Cyril.

It's not that bad.

I shan't be back till late. I'm dining with the Asquiths.

Hush now.

Come on, now.


Do you love me?

I feel... like a city that's been... under siege for 20 years.

Suddenly the gates are thrown open... and the citizens come pouring out... to breathe the air and walk the fields... and pluck the wildflowers.

I feel... relieved.

You don't worry about Constance?

"Every afternoon, on their way home from school... the children used to play in the garden of the selfish giant."

Is that the garden where we play?

No, this is much larger and lovelier than that, with soft green grass.

There's grass where we go.

Yes, but are there 12 peach trees that burst into delicate blossoms... of pink and pearl every springtime and bear rich fruit in the autumn?

Are there, Mama?

I don't think there are, Cyril, no.

Would you hand me a matchstick, and I'll put this hussar's head back on?

Thank you.

"The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly... that the children used to stop their games to listen.

'How happy we are here,' they said to each other."

I don't know how they could be happy if there was a giant.

There wasn't, you see, not yet. He was away, visiting a friend.

You're always away.

Yes, but I only go for a night or two at a time, and I always come back.

Whereas this giant, the one whose garden it was... he'd been away for seven years, staying with an ogre in Cornwall.

"And after seven years, when he'd said all he had to say... because his conversation was very limited... he decided to return home to his own castle.

When he found the children playing in his garden, he was very angry.

'What are you doing here?' he cried.

And all the children ran away.

'My own garden... is my own garden!' said the giant.

'And I won't allow anyone to play in it except myself.'

So he built a high wall all around... put up a large notice board on which was written, in capital letters:

'Trespassers will be prosecuted."'

Arthur, you're trespassing. Cyril will now eat you.

It's Mr. Ross, sir, with Mr. Gray.

Heavens, I must fly.

The horses of Apollo are pawing impatiently at the gates.

I beg your pardon?

Papa must go.

You will come back and finish the story?

Of course I will.

Come on, Cyril. It's almost teatime.

I really don't know why people bother painting portraits anymore.

You can get a much better likeness with a photograph.

A photograph's just one moment in time... one gesture, one turn of the head.

Yes, portraits are not likenesses, Mr. Gray.

Painters show the soul of the subject, the essence.

The essence of the sitter's vanity, you mean.

Well... this is a portrait of Lady Battersby as a young woman.

She's over there, as a matter of fact.

I must go and console her.

How nice to see you.

Poor thing.

I expect in her heart... she thinks she still looks like this.

If we could look young and innocent forever...

Do you think we'd want to?

If our souls were ugly, yes.

Give a man a mask, and he'll tell you the truth.

Have we had enough of this? Shall we go and have dinner somewhere?


Dorian Gray is the most wonderful book I've ever read.

And the end, when the servants break in... and they find him wizened, old and dead... and the picture young again...

I fainted.

My family say it's dull and wicked.

Dull?

It's sublime.

It's about the masks we wear as faces... and the faces we wear as masks.

That my son should have written a work of such...

People say it's full of dangerous paradoxes.

Hardly anyone will speak to us anymore.

We're ceasing to be respectable.

Artists care nothing about respectability.

It's only jealousy.

It's the spite of the untalented for the men of genius.

Where is Oscar?

He's in the Lake District, writing a play.

A drama? A comedy.

Robbie Ross has gone to keep him company.

I do like Robbie.

And they both love you.

Oh, it'll be a great success.

Oscar's made for the stage.

Author! Author! Author!

Oscar, please!

Magnificent! Well done, everybody.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have enjoyed this evening immensely.

The actors have given us a charming rendering of a delightful play... and your appreciation has been most intelligent.

I congratulate you on the great success of your performance... which persuades me that you think almost as highly of this play... as I do myself.

Absolutely splendid, Oscar. An absolute triumph!

Thank you so much. Thank you. Well done.

How sweet of you to say so.

It went so well, Oscar.

Even better than I'd...

They loved it. They absolutely loved it.

And I, dear boy, love you.

Congratulations, Oscar.

Thank you.

It's good to see you.

Hello.

Mr. Wilde. Wonderful, really wonderful.

Oscar. Sphinx!

You really must be careful. You're in grave danger of becoming rich.

It was wonderful. I knew it would be. Thank you, Robbie.

Everyone's dying to know who the real Lady Windermere is.

The real Lady Windermere is every woman in this room, and most of the men.

Oscar! Lionel!

It's a wonderful play.

My cousin Lord Alfred Douglas is here.

He would like very much to congratulate you.

Wonderful. Oscar, this is Bosie Douglas.

We met last year. Lionel brought me to tea at Tite Street.

How could I possibly forget?

I love your play.

The audience didn't know whether you meant your jokes or not.

You shocked them... especially with your speech.

But the more frivolous you seem, the more serious you are, aren't you?

I love that. Thank you.

I always say, the young are the only critics... with enough experience to judge my work.

Splendid, Oscar. We need shocking.

People are so banal. And you use your wit like a foil.

You cut through all those starched shirt fronts.

You draw blood. It's magnificent.

I wish you'd draw some blood down in Oxford... though you'd need a miracle.

All the dons at my college have dust in their veins.

At which college do you educate the fellows?

Magdalen.

My own college.

I shall claim the privilege of a graduate and take tutorials with you.

Come soon, then. They're threatening to send me down.

How could they be so cruel to one so beautiful?

Dons... they're so middle class.

Oscar, you've shocked the whole of London, smoking on stage like that.

Excellent. Then we shall run for a year.

Oscar, you must say something to Marion Terry.

She was good, wasn't she?

So good, I think she wrote most of the lines herself.

Excuse me, Lord Alfred. Bosie, please.

You must be so thrilled, Oscar. I know.

Isn't it humiliating?

" 'My own garden is my own garden, ' said the giant.

So he built a high wall all round it... and put up a notice board:

'Trespassers will be prosecuted.'

He was a very selfish giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play.

They tried to play on the road... but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it.

They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over... and talk about the beautiful garden inside.

'How happy we were there, ' they said to each other."

I hope he was a very beautiful boy.

Well, pretty, you know, in a street-Arab sort of way.

There's no point being blackmailed by an ugly one.

What's tiresome is he's threatened to show my letters to my father.

Who will show them to all his friends for the excellence of their style.

You don't know him. He's a brute.

Really. He carries a whip wherever he goes.

He used to beat my mother.

He beat my brothers. He thrashed me from the age...

My dear boy.

Of course, he's practically illiterate.

He probably won't understand the letters anyway.

By an unforgivable oversight, I've never been blackmailed myself... but my friends assure me that a hundred pounds will usually suffice.

Really?

God, I... You promise?

Leave it to Lewis... George Lewis... my solicitor.

He knows what he's doing. He acts for the Prince of Wales.

Leave me not to pine Alone and desolate No fate seem fair as mine No happiness So great Isn't he killing, Mr. Wilde?

And nature day by day He's perfect.

He's perfect in every way.

In accents clear This joyous roundelay He loves me He is here

He loves me He is here

That was lovely. Well done, Bosie.

Yes, absolutely enchanting.

More tea, anyone?


I don't want to sit here. I want to sit there.

You heard what Lord Alfred said.

I want everyone to look at us.

I want everyone to say, "Look, there's Oscar Wilde with his boy."

So, what shall we let people see us eating?

Fois gras and lobster and champagne.

For two. We do everything together.

Very good, Mr. Wilde.

I think he enjoyed thrashing me.

All my family are mad.

My uncle slit his throat last year in a railway hotel.

Which station?

Euston.

All life's really serious journeys involve a railway terminus.

And now I must go to the station myself.

Sarah Bernhardt thinks she knows better than I do how to play Salome.

Stay.

Please stay.

At least till this evening.

Sarah is divine, as you are.

She will be wonderful at the play's climax when Salome kisses the lips... of the severed head of John the Baptist.

"Ah, thou wouldst not suffer me to kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan."

Jokanaan is an old Hebrew name for John.

"Well, I will kiss it now.

I will bite it with my teeth as one bites a ripe fruit.

Yes, I will kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan.

Thy body is white like the snows that lie on the mountains... like the snows that lie on the mountains of Judea... and come down into the valleys.

The roses in the garden of the queen of Arabia... are not so white as thy body."

I'm not good enough for him anymore.

I'm just the son of a carpenter, while Bosie...

Oscar's only ever been smitten before.

He was smitten with me. He was smitten with you.

I wasn't smitten.

I loved him.

Well, now he's fallen in love.

I'm halfway to hellfire. I'm not joking.

Someone else was a carpenter's son.

I've given in and become a Catholic.

I find confession... wonderfully consoling.

I can't go to confession... when I want to kill Bosie...

or myself.

Oscar's furious. He has no right to be.

He knew perfectly well the Lord Chamberlain would never allow... a play with biblical characters.

Oscar doesn't think there should be censorship of plays at all.

Of course there must be censorship.

Or people would say what they meant, and then where should we be?

When is he coming to join us? He's not.

He must stay and look after Lord Alfred.

Those Douglases are always ill, when they're not demented.

One of them roasted a kitchen boy on a spit.

And Bosie's father, Lord Queensberry... he's a dreadful man, Constance... doesn't believe in God or marriage.

A marquis should set a proper example... or what are the upper classes for?

I tell you...

I wouldn't want a daughter of mine to marry a Douglas.

I haven't got a daughter.

Plenty of time still, my dear.

I see.

It's my fault.

After Vyvyan was born, all I could think of was the children.

So that's why Oscar spends so much time with his men friends.

Oscar needs disciples.

Lord Alfred's a poet. A very fine poet, Oscar says.

He's studying classics. Oscar and he talk about Plato.

There's nothing wrong.

Really, there isn't.

It's not whether there is anything wrong.

It's whether or not there appears to be.

That's all people care about.

The empire was not built by men like Bosie Douglas.

"Then the spring came... only in the garden of the selfish giant it was still winter.

The birds did not care to sing in it, as there were no children.

And the trees forgot to blossom.

The snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak... and the frost painted all the trees silver."


Let's go out.

If you like.

The thing about renters is you don't have to consider their feelings.

But if someone is willing to give one pleasure, one should show gratitude.

No. Money, that's all they want.

What's wonderful about going to Taylor's is no one pretends.

You just do it and be done with it.

I do love you, Oscar.

But variety is the spice of life.

You can watch me, if you like.

You must attempt to keep a grasp upon your sobriety.

That is disgusting. We'll have less of that.

Good evening. Lord Alfred.

Alfred Taylor, this is Oscar.

Delighted to make your acquaintance, Oscar.

Charles Parker. I remember you.

Hello, Oscar.

Charming to see you again.

Do you smoke? I do everything.

Yeah, everything that pays. Expertly, I might add.

Mr. Wilde, some wine.

Thank you.

It's a nice case. I want you to keep it.

Thank you.

So, this is a den of vice. I should call it more of a garden.

Such pretty flowers, Mr. Taylor.

How wise of you to keep the curtains closed.

They would never grow in the common light of day.

Who are you calling common? Certainly not you, dear boy.

You seem to be a flower of the rarest hue.

Bosie never told me that you were a botanist, Mr. Taylor... that you roam the earth, climbing the highest peaks of the Himalayas... and plunging into the darkest forests... of Borneo to return triumphant... to this delightful conservatory in the shadow of Westminster Abbey... to exhibit your specimens.

The boys are all Londoners, actually.

Impossible. I see Londoners every day... but never such exotic blooms as these.

Does he always talk like this?

Not when he's in bed.

I am discreet.

Bosie is far too grand for that. He wants everyone to know.

You must understand... I must be with young people, Robbie.

They're so frank and free.

They make me feel young myself.

That's all very well, but what would you say... if someone wanted to go to bed with your son?

Cyril's eight.

What will you say when he's 18?

Nothing. He must do as his nature dictates... as I only wish I had done.

"'I do believe the spring has come at last,' said the giant.

He jumped out of bed, and looked out of the window."

What did he see? You tell me.

No, you tell it.

All right. "He saw the most wonderful sight.

Through a little hole in the wall... the children had crept back into the garden and were sitting... on the branches of the trees.

And every tree that he could see, there was a little child.

The trees were so glad that they..."

They covered themselves with blossoms!

Blossoms!

"And were waving their arms gently above the children's heads.

And the birds were twittering and singing above them with delight.

And the flowers were looking up through the grass and laughing.

Oscar, it's time the boys changed, or we'll miss the train.

Come on, boys.

Papa, can't we stay?

Papa's got to work. He's got to finish his play.

Yes, poor dear Papa.

Poor Papa.

Poor, poor, poor, poor, poor Papa.

Where is Oscar? We haven't seen him at all.

Where do you think he is? He's working. He is a writer, after all.

I hear your father's threatening to shoot Lord Roseberry.

Really? He usually prefers the horsewhip.

Says he's been buggering your brother.

Well, Roseberry is Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs... and Francis is his private secretary.

Actually, Francis is about to get engaged.

What's your father talking about, then?

He's obsessed with sex.

He thinks Oscar's buggering me... as though I'd allow anyone to do that.

I'm sick of the country.

Let's get back to London.

What's the point of us living together if you're always working?

I have responsibilities... a family. God, not that again!

I ask my friends over from Oxford, and you just disappear.

I'd be better off staying at my mother's.

At least she's there. You asked me to take this house...

Now I'm bored with it.

And with you. I can't give it up.

It's paid for in advance. Until I finish my new...

Bosie, dear... you have beauty, you have breeding... and, most glorious of all, you have youth.

But you are very fantastical if you think that pleasures... don't have to be earned and paid for.

Whenever I want to do anything, you say you can't afford it... but you give all those renters cigarette cases.

But I've lavished presents on you!

Every penny I've earned from my play I have spent on you!

I'm sure you've been counting.

You're so mean and penny-pinching... and middle-class, all you can think about is your bank balance.

For God's sake! This is intolerable!

No gentleman ever has the slightest idea what his bank balance is!

You're absurd!

Telling everyone how they ought to live.

You're so vulgar!

I never want to see you again, ever.

All right, then. If that's what you want, then you go!

Get out!

"But in the farthest corner of the garden... it was still winter, and in it was standing a little boy.

He was so small, he could not reach up to the branches of the tree.

'Climb up, little boy, ' said the tree.

But the little boy was too tiny."

Egypt is lovely this time of year.

But you mustn't idle your time away. Mother.

And I want you to promise me something: not to write to Oscar Wilde.

I can't do that. I love Oscar.

I love him as a disciple loves his teacher.

But he's not fit to teach anything. He's evil.

Do you really think your own son could love someone evil?

I just wish I could love Oscar as loyally, devotedly... unselfishly and purely as he loves me.

But I'm not as good as he is.

I probably never will be.

Good-bye, then.

"I adore simple pleasures.

They are the last refuge of the complex.

But, if you wish, let us stay here.

Yes, let us stay here.

The Book of Life begins with a man and a woman in a garden."

"It ends with 'Revelations."'

Yes. Mr. Tree, may I?

I'm delighted, of course, that you find my lines funny... but please don't try and make the audience laugh with them.

They should sound completely spontaneous and natural... as though people spoke like that all the time.

Yes, of course.

Let's try again.

You should break with Bosie more often, Oscar.

Then we'd have more of your spontaneous and natural plays.

Bosie was envious. That's why he stopped Oscar working.

That's not true. Of course it is.

His poems aren't nearly as good as you pretend... and he knows it.

He's just a shallow little... Rivulet.

Bosie's a child, a vulnerable child. He needs love.

We all need love.

But which of us can give it?

Wish you a merry Christmas We wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy New Year Good tidings we bring To you and your kin We wish you a merry Christmas And a happy New Year Cracker time! It is cracker time.

I won this time. Look. There. One for you, one for me.

"And the giant's heart melted as he looked out.

'How selfish I have been, ' he said.

'Now I know why the spring would not come here.

I will put that little boy on top of the tree... and I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be... the children's playground forever and ever. '

He was really very sorry for what he had done."

This is really nice, even though...

"So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly... and went out into the garden.

that he did not see the giant coming.

And the giant stole up behind him and took him gently by the hand... and put him up into the tree.

And the tree broke at once into blossom... and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy... stretched out his two arms... and flung them round the giant's neck... and kissed him."


I don't care what people think. I love you.

It's all that matters to me. It was agony being away from you.

Well, here I am.

Oh, Bosie, you're my catastrophe, my doom.

Everyone says so, even me.

I missed you.

I thought you might like something to celebrate your return.

When I saw them in the window, they begged me on their knees... to make them yours.

I'll put them on now. They're superb.

I'll sit there. I want a proper table. Is there something wrong, my lord?

This young fool wants me to sit by the service door.

Oh, God, my father.

I'm extremely sorry. He's new, and he didn't know who you were.

Bosie, you're not going to flee.

Give me the menu.

I'll have the pea soup and then the salmon.

Will you have it with us, Papa?

I'm lunching with Oscar Wilde. Will you join us?

I told you never to see that vile cur again.

He's not vile or a cur. He's utterly delightful. Come and see.

How do you know what he's like when you've never met him?

You're not a man to be influenced by other people's opinions.

Oscar, you've never met my father, have you?

Lord Queensberry.

Bosie has told me so much about your exploits on the racetrack.

I've never heard such bad luck as yours with the Grand National.

Bosie tells me that you would have won... but that your cousin wouldn't let you ride the horse?

Bloody fool said I was too old.

Why, you're never too old. I'd ridden Old Joe on the gallops.

Came in at 40 to 1.

No horse could ever have carried me over the jumps, I fear.

What are you having?

Pea soup and salmon. Then I shall join you.

Spring is the time to lunch on salmon... though I always think it tastes so much nicer if you've caught it yourself.

You fish?

I used to when I lived in Ireland.

My father had the most charming hunting lodge... on an island in a lake.

Do you know the west of Ireland? Not really.

Whereabouts, exactly?

The Christians go around pretending they know who God is and how He works.

I've got no time for that tomfoolery.

If you don't know something, you should stand up and say so... not go around pretending you believe in some mumbo jumbo.

I can believe in anything, provided it's incredible.

That's why I intend to die a Catholic, though I couldn't possibly live as one.

Catholicism is such a romantic religion. It has saints and sinners.

The Church of England only has respectable people... who believe in respectability.

You get to be a bishop not by what you believe but by what you don't.

That's true enough.

It's the only church where the skeptic stands at the altar... and St. Thomas the Doubter is prince of the apostles.

No, I couldn't possibly die in the Church of England.

Where do you stand on cremation?

I'm not sure I have a position.

I'm for it.

I wrote a poem:

"When I am dead, cremate me."

That's how it begins.

"When I am dead, cremate me."

What do you think of that for an opening line?

It's challenging.

I'm a challenging sort of man.

That's why people don't like me.

I don't go along with the ordinary ways of thinking.

Then we are exactly alike.

Another glass of brandy?

I find that alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities... can produce all the effects of drunkenness.

You were there for ages.

You stayed talking till after 4:00. I knew you'd like him.

Well, he's got charm, I admit that.

But that's bad.

Men shouldn't be charming.

It's disgusting. I don't think much of his action.

Let's have a look at the bay.

Mind you, Wilde's no fool.

Talks wonderfully, really wonderfully.

But that means nothing when what he says is such rot.

Worse than rot... evil.

Which is why I insist you stop seeing him forthwith.

"Insist"? What's that supposed to mean?

It means I will cut off your allowance if you don't do as I say.

Trot him up and down a bit! Look, Father.

You wasted time at Oxford pretending you were going into the Foreign Office.

Thank God you didn't when that Jew queer Roseberry... can become Foreign Secretary and bugger all the juniors, including your brother.

That's all lies.

You spent your whole time writing obscene poetry.

My poems aren't obscene.

They're in the manner of Wilde. That's filthy enough for me.

Have you ever actually read any of Oscar's poems?

I wouldn't sully my mind with perverted trash like that.

Tell him to pick his feet up!

He's not straight!

Are you calling Oscar a pervert?

Because that's libelous.

I'm not saying he is one. I'm saying he's posing as one... which is worse.

His wife's divorcing him.

Did you know that? For sodomy!

That's completely untrue! I hope it is.

Because if it were true, I'd shoot him on sight.

You will cease to see Wilde, or I'll cut you off without a penny.

As though I wanted your money... what little you have left from your tarts.

How dare you speak to your father like that.

What a funny little man you are.

Come back here, you filthy-minded sissy!

You're absurd!

And you're nothing but a bum-boy!

You're pathetic!

I'm a bloody good shot. Better than he is.

I'll shoot him through the heart if he threatens me.

Hadn't you better use a silver bullet then?

Here's one for the Black Douglas.

Bosie, for God's sake!

And one for his liver! One for his lights!

One for his stinking rotten soul!

I'll save one for myself.

My own father... he wants to kill me.

My life is everything I ever wanted.

I have fame.

I have recognition.

With two plays about to open in London...

I may even have money.

The world is at my command... yet I can't command myself.

I can't command my feelings for you.

Thank you. Constance, my dear.

How nice.

I brought you your letters.

You haven't been home for so long.

Thank you.

It's so much more convenient for Oscar living in the West End... when he has a play coming on.

I'm like a northern businessman keeping an eye on his factory.

The boys ask for you all the time.

They're longing to see you.

Oscar has to make sure the play's a success, Constance.

I'll come round this afternoon... for tea.

It's the dress rehearsal this afternoon.

Tomorrow then. I'll come tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow then.

Good-bye, my dear.

Good-bye.

Good-bye, Constance.

Something like that. I'm not trying to get anything.

I hope so. It would be rather fun. Perhaps a codfish.

Codfish. I've a strong feeling that codfish live rather deeper.

Do you think we'll have skate... Possibly.

I don't think there'll be anything for our table tonight, my love. No luck.

I think I'd better stay. You're getting a cold.

No, no. I'm all right. Let's get the boys some ices.

Boys, you stay and look after nanny. Oh, all right.

We'll look after nanny.

I could take the boys to the dentist on Thursday on their way back to school.

But the whole point of them having dentistry now... is so they can stuff themselves with sweets for a week before we lose them.

Are you quite sure? Bosie'll look after me.


Get your coat on, quick!

I've got a present for you!

Oh, God.

You're not still seedy, are you? Bosie, where have you been?

I've had no one to talk to, no one to look after me.

Don't be so pathetic. I've found you the divinest boy.

Bosie, you promised Constance... Bugger Constance.

I'm not your nanny. Come on. We're going out.

Bosie, please.

You look such an idiot lying there. Revolting.

Have you forgotten how to wash? As a matter of fact...

I'm dying for a glass of water.

You know where the jug is. Bosie, darling.

It stinks in here. You'll be wanting me to empty your chamber pot next.

Well, I emptied your chamber pot. I looked after you.

Well, I'm not looking after you. Not now.

You don't interest me. Not when you're ill.

You're just a boring middle-aged man with a blocked-up nose.

Bosie, dearest boy. Shut up!

"Dearest boy, darling Bosie." It doesn't mean anything.

You don't love me. The only person you've ever loved is yourself.

You like me. You lust after me.

You go about with me because I've got a title. That's all.

You like to write about dukes and duchesses... but you know nothing about them.

You're the biggest snob I've ever met... and you think you're so daring because you fuck the occasional boy.

Please, you're killing me.

You'll just about do when you're at your best.

You're amusing... very amusing... but when you're not at your best, you're no one.

All I asked for was a glass of water.

For Christ's sake! There you are then!

Now will you shut up about the fucking water?

There are two boys waiting out there.

If you're not coming, I'll fuck them both myself.

I'll take them to the Grand and fuck them in front of the whole hotel... and I'll send you the bill.

Drink this.

It will help your fever. He's ashamed of loving men.

His father bullies him, his mother spoils him... and then berates him for being spoiled.

Neither of them gives him any real love. They're torturing him.

And what's truly dreadful is that when... he can't bear it and has one of his... he becomes exactly like his father.

And he hates himself for that. You're too kind about him.

You can't be too kind about someone who's been so hurt.

Yet if I go on trying to come between Bosie and his father... that'll destroy me.

Bosie's quite capable of destroying you on his own.

Look how much you wrote while he was away.

Two wonderful plays which will run for years.

Back comes Bosie, and what have you written since?

You know how much I... love and admire you... but you're throwing your genius away.

For what? It's highly ironic.

Queensberry thinks Bosie and I are locked in nightly embrace... and in reality, we've been the purest model of Greek love since...

Bosie doesn't like doing it with me, but I've loved him.

I've educated him. But he's never grown up.

And he never will.

I'm not taking him back, Robbie.

Not again.

I can't.

I've been very foolish, very fond... but now I must grow up myself.

Oh, please, don't do that.

You're an artist. Artists are always children at heart.

Oh, Robbie, I sometimes I wonder if...

Back page, sir.

My God. Francis Douglas.

What? Bosie's brother.

He's been found shot. He's dead.

But he's just got engaged.

Poor, poor Bosie. He'll be utterly distraught.

He killed himself.

It was my father. He drove him to it.

I'm sure your father's just as upset as everyone else.

No, he's not.

He says it's a judgment on Roseberry and my mother... and me and you.

We've got to stop him, Oscar... before he drives my whole family to suicide.

I promise you, I won't let him hurt you ever again.

I promise.

It's not enough. I want him stopped.

I want the whole world to know what he's done...

what an evil man he is.

Table, my lord?

Is Lord Alfred here? And that shit and sod Wilde?

No, my lord. Not tonight.

Bugger must be at Kettner's.

Is my son staying here?

Is Lord Alfred Douglas staying here?

No, sir, he's not.

What about Wilde? No, sir.

If I find they have been staying here...

I'll give you the biggest whipping of your life.


Well, I expect you two would like a drink after your exertions.

I must ask you to leave, Mr. Wilde.

My dear man, what are you talking about?

At once, please.

What's the matter? My father cracking the whip downstairs, is he?

My lord. Bosie.

You're not frightened of what this little man thinks, are you?

I think the pleasures of the evening should be resumed elsewhere.

You're such a coward.

You say you despise convention... but you're the most conventional man I know.

Come on then. If we're going, let's go.

Until tomorrow, Tommy.

Good-bye, sir.

I goes in, and there's all this tropical fruit laid out.

Wait a minute, Oscar!

Alfred, how nice to see you. And Charlie, looking so well.

I'm afraid I'm busy this evening, but we must have dinner again soon.

It's not a question of dinner. I got a letter of yours to Lord Alfred.

It's a nice letter, Oscar. Beautiful.

"Lips like roses. The madness of kisses in ancient Greece."

Then I expect it's one of my prose poems.

There's a gentleman's offered me 60 pounds for it.

Then you must accept, Alfred. I've never received so large a sum... for a prose work of that length in all my life.

Tell him I'm delighted that someone in England values my work so highly.

Well, he's gone away. He's gone to the country.

Well, I'm sure he'll be back soon.

Oscar, look. You couldn't let us have something, could you?

Bit short at the moment. You know.

Of course. Of course.

Here's half a sovereign. Now you mind you take good care of that letter.

Lord Alfred is going to publish it in sonnet form in his new magazine.

For fuck's sake.

It's no good trying to rent you.

You just laugh at us.

Here. Thank you.

He can be very careless, Lord Alfred.

What a wonderfully wicked life you lead.

You boys. You boys.

Where is he? Mr. Wilde is not receiving visitors.

Where is he? He's busy, sir. I cannot...

I wish you would get out of my way. Get out of my way!

Excuse me, sir, there's a gentleman...

You!

Listen to me.

You're a bugger!

I don't allow people to talk to me like that in my house, Lord Queensberry... or anywhere else.

I suppose you've come to apologize for the lies you've been spreading about me?

I've come to tell you to leave my son alone, you sodomite.

The marquis appears to be very obsessed with other people's sexual activities.

Has it anything to do with his new wife...

I wonder, and the fact that she's seeking divorce for non-consummation?

Unless you swear that you'll have nothing more to do with Bosie...

I shall go to Scotland Yard.

You can go to the devil.

You and your... Who is this gargoyle?

You're a queer! And a sham! A poseur!

If I catch you and Bosie together again, I'll give you such a thrashing.

I believe Lord Queensberry once invented some rules for boxing.

I've no idea what they are... but the Oscar Wilde rule is to shoot on sight.

Now, kindly leave my house. You can shut up!

I shall leave when I'm damn well ready.

It's a scandal what you've been doing.

All the scandal is your own.

Your treatment of your wives... your neglect of your children... and, above all, the depraved insistence... that they be as tyrannical and unloving as you are yourself.

Arthur, this is the Marquis of Queensberry... the most infamous brute and the least tender father in London.

Never let him into my house again.

Very well then.

Let's get out of this stew.


Out of the way, then! I'm sorry, sir!

I'm very sorry, but it's just not possible!

What are you doing? Rotten vegetables?

Give that to Oscar Wilde.

Thank you, sir. We'll take care of it.

I wanted to give it to him personally as a bouquet.

I daresay you did, sir, but you're not going to.

He's a cur and a sod!

And a bugger!

You remember that!

I always told you, Gwendolen, my name is Ernest, didn't I?

Well, it is Ernest after all.

I mean, it naturally is Ernest.

Yes, I remember now that the general was called Ernest.

I knew I had some particular reason for disliking the name.

Ernest! My own Ernest!

I knew from the first you could have had no other name.

Gwendolen, it's a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly... that all his life he's been speaking nothing but the truth.

Can you forgive me?

I can, for I feel you are sure to change.

My own one! Laetitia.

Frederick! At last!

Cecily! At last! Gwendolen! At last!

My nephew, you seem to be displaying signs of triviality.

On the contrary, Aunt Augusta...

I've now realized for the first time in my life... the vital importance of being earnest.


Allen, you were wonderful! Thank you all so much.

They're calling for you. You must come on. Curtain, curtain.

No, no, George, no, no. Come on!


Mr. Wilde, sir. Yes?

For you. Thank you.

"For Oscar Wilde...

Ponce," is it?

"Ponce and 'somdomite."'

"Posing as a sodomite." He's illiterate... illiterate, ignorant.

It's hideous. We've got him now, Robbie.

He wrote it down. The porter read it.

That makes it a public libel. Now we can take him to court.

For God's sake.

Oscar, you mustn't do that. That would be... I mean...

We've just been waiting for a chance to get him in the dock... and show the world what a swine and shit he's always been.

To me, my mother, my brothers. But he'll plead justification.

He'll call all the renters as witnesses for the defense.

Of course he won't. He doesn't know what a renter is.

I hear he's had detectives following you ever since you came back from Egypt.

He can't prove anything. But we can.

We can prove he's the vilest man that ever walked the earth.

Tear the card up, Oscar. Pretend you never got it.

Are you mad? That's our main piece of evidence.

I'm sure if Oscar went abroad for a few months... lived on royalties while your father calms down...

Whose side are you on? Bosie, if this goes to court...

Oscar will have to tell lies... perjure himself... everything will come out.

Whatever the result, it will be utter disaster.

You're an enemy then.

No, no, Bosie, please. Robbie... you're a dear boy, but I can't even think of leaving the country.

As a matter of fact, I can't even leave this hotel. I can't pay the bill.

We can raise you money, for heaven's sake.

Anyway, what about your royalties?

We shall need all the money we can get for the libel case.

My father can't go on making all our lives a torment like this.

Oscar, I beg you.

I'm not going to run away, Robbie.

I'm not going to hide. That would be the English thing to do.

If you take Queensberry to court, all hell will break loose.

All my life I've fought against the English vice: hypocrisy... not that that's the point.

The point is, Queensberry's already caused the death of one of his sons.

If I don't try and stop him now, whom will he harm next?

He's avoiding me, Robbie.

I know what everyone's saying, but it's not true.

It's not true.

Is it? Of course not.

Oh, it's so shaming.

No, I find it easier to stand.

I'm going to Torquay for a month, try to get my back right.

Oscar's been so busy... I'm sure he'll be terribly upset... when he knows you've been in so much pain.

The truth is, I need some money.

Not even sure where he is to ask for it.

It does seem rather hard when he's having such an extraordinary success.

I think I can find him.

I keep hearing these stories about Bosie and his father.

I'm sure you don't want to... Oh, yes. I do.

Men think women should be protected by not knowing.

Not knowing only makes it worse.

Is there going to be trouble?

I hope not.

I believe a prosecution would certainly succeed... provided... and I stress this... provided there is no truth whatever in the accusation made by Lord Queensberry.

Of course there's no truth in it.

Then so long as I have Mr. Wilde's assurance that that is indeed the case.

There is no truth in the accusation whatever.

Good. Excellent.

The defense, I understand, will be led by Mr. Edward Carson.

Old Ned? I was at college with him in Dublin.

No doubt he will perform his task with all the bitterness of an old friend.

In writing a book or a play, I'm concerned entirely with literature... with art... I do not aim at doing good or evil... but at making a thing that will have some quality of beauty.

Well, listen, sir. Here is one of your pieces of literature.

"Wickedness is a myth invented by good people... to account for the curious attractiveness of others."

Do you think that true?

Oh, I rarely think anything I write is true.

"If one tells the truth, one is sure, sooner or later, to be found out."

That is a pleasing paradox, but I do not set store by it as an axiom.

Is it good for the young?

Anything is good that stimulates thought, at whatever age.

Whether moral or immoral?

There's no such thing as morality or immorality in thought.

What about this then?

"Pleasure is the only thing one should live for."

I think that the realization of one's self is the prime aim of life... and that to realize through pleasure is finer than to do so through pain.

I am, on this point, entirely on the side of the ancients, the Greeks.

How long have you known Alfred Taylor?

About two years, two-and-a-half years.

Is he an intimate friend of yours? I wouldn't call him that, no.

But you went often to his rooms?

About seven or eight times, perhaps.

Did you know Mr. Taylor kept ladies' dresses in his rooms?

Did you know he was notorious for introducing young men to older men?

I never heard it in my life.

Has he introduced young men to you?

Yes.

How many young men? About five.

What were their occupations? I really don't know.

Oh, well, let me tell you, Mr. Wilde.

You met a man called Charles Parker there, I believe.

Yes.

Charles Parker is... a gentleman's valet.

You met his brother there too, I believe.

Yes. He is a groom.

I didn't care tuppence what they were.

I liked them. I have a passion to civilize the community.

I recognize no social distinctions at all of any kind.

To me, youth... the mere fact of youth... is so wonderful that I would sooner talk to a young man for half an hour... than, well, than be cross-examined in court.

So, do I understand that... even a boy you might pick up in the street would be a pleasing companion?

I would talk to a street Arab with pleasure if he would talk to me.

And take him to your rooms? Yes.

And then commit improprieties with him?

Certainly not.

You withdraw your libel action against Lord Queensberry.

Well and good.

But there remains the question of the evidence...

Lord Queensberry's evidence against you.

My information is that the Crown wishes to pursue the matter.

In which case, an arrest and a charge of gross indecency... are certain to follow.

The maximum sentence is two years hard labor.

Nine months hard labor is reckoned to be more... than a man of our background... can survive.

The children, the boys...

I must go and see them. You have no time for that.

But my wife... I have to say good-bye to my wife.

Unless you positively wish to subject her... to the further humiliation of seeing you arrested... and taken away in front of the gutter press...

Mr. Wilde, you must go.

Oscar, you must take that train.

Practically everyone you know will be on it.

At least 600 single gentlemen, all in abject terror of arrest.

Where your life leads you, you must go.

I defy society.

Tell him to go.

He must save himself.

Tell him to go abroad.

I've been telling him all day.

He won't budge.

People have never understood the courage he needed to be himself.

You must go abroad too.

We must all go abroad at once.

Oscar says, will you tell the boys good-bye.

I need to go through his papers.

You know, I was always too silent.

If I'd known...

If I'd only spoken up.

It wouldn't have made any difference.

Perhaps not... but at least I wouldn't blame myself now.


You're an Irish gentleman. Of course, you must stay.

Your father fought when he was libeled.

I was in the courts myself. I fought... Yes, I know, Madre.

You will fight these English philistines, and you'll win.

And even if you lose... if you go to prison... you'll always be my son.

Of course, it's too late to change that now.

If you go, Oscar...

I'll never speak to you again.

No one will ever speak to me again, whatever I do.

Of course I'm your son, Madre... which is why, even if I lose... the English will never forget me.

My darling.


Get out of my way. Get out! Out!

Take me away at once!

Lady Wilde. Lady Wilde!

Have you anything to say about your son's disgrace, Lady Wilde?

Have you anything to say?

Come in.

Mr. Wilde, I believe.

Yes, yes.

We have a warrant here for your arrest... on a charge of committing indecent acts.

I recommend Switzerland as soon as possible.

You will have to change your name, of course.

I can't.

My dear Constance, the name of Wilde will be... a word of execration for the next thousand years.

You can't possibly let your boys grow up with people knowing who they are.

Think of their lives at school.

Thank you for your advice.

I'm sorry our friendship has to end like this.

Oh, you will always be my friend. I am still Oscar's wife.

That must cease forthwith. Forthwith. Do you understand?

Anybody who has anything to do with Oscar from now on... will never be received in society again... ever.

Oh, God, Ada. What is going to happen to him?

That's Oscar Wilde's boy.

Oscar, you must let me in the witness box.

If the jury can only hear what I have to say...

Bosie, darling boy.

As soon as they see you in all your golden youth... and me in all my corruption...

You didn't corrupt me. I corrupted you, if anything.

That's not how it will seem.

But I must have my say. It's outrageous.

Everyone else has said everything, anything that came into his head.

But I'm the person all this is about.

It's me my father wants to get at, not you.

It's outrageous that I can't have my say.

It won't help, Bosie. It may actually make things worse.

But my father will win. I can't endure my father winning.

You must go away, dear boy.

I couldn't bear for them to arrest you.

I can't bear what they're saying about you in court.

Jesus Christ.

Good-bye, Bosie, dear boy.

Don't let anyone, anything, ever change your feeling for me... change your love.

See you next time. Time's up, my lord.

Oscar, never. They never will. I won't let them.

You've been a great deal in the company of Lord Alfred Douglas?

Oh, yes.

Did he read his poems to you? Yes.

So, you can perhaps understand that... some of his verses... would not be acceptable to a reader with an ordinary balance to mind?

I'm not prepared to say.

It's a question of taste and temperament... and individuality.

I should say that one man's poetry is another man's poison.

Yes, I daresay.

But in this poem by Lord Alfred Douglas...

"Two Loves"... there is one love, true love... which... and I quote...

"fills the hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame."

And, there is another:

"I am the love that dare not speak its name."

Was that poem explained to you?

I think it's clear. There's no doubt as to what it means?

Most certainly not.

So, is it not clear that the love described... relates to natural and unnatural love?

Then what is the love that dare not speak its name?

The love that dare not speak its name... in this century... is such a great affection... of an elder for a younger man... as there was between David and Jonathan... such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy... and such as you may find in the sonnets of Michelangelo... and Shakespeare.

It is, in this century, misunderstood... so much misunderstood that it may be described as... the love that dare not speak its name.

And, on account of it, I am placed where I am now.

It is beautiful. It is fine.

It is the noblest form of affection.

There's nothing unnatural about it.

It is intellectual... and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man... when the elder has intellect... and the younger man... has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him.

That it should be so, the world does not understand.

The world mocks at it... and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it.

The crime of which you have been convicted... is so bad... that I shall pass the severest sentence... that the law will allow.

In my judgment, it is totally inadequate for such a case as this.

It is the worst case I have ever tried!

The sentence of the court... is that you will be imprisoned... and held to hard labor...

Stand aside, please. for two years.

Shame. Pervert.

Pervert!

Shame on you!

Disgusting!


A slim thing, gold-haired like an angel... stands always at my side.

He moves in the gloom like a white flower.

I thought but to defend him from his father. I thought of nothing else.

Now my life seems to have gone from me.

I'm caught in a terrible net.

But so long as I think he is thinking of me... my sweet rose, my delicate flower, my lily of lilies... it is in prison that I shall test the power of love.

I shall see if I can't make the bitter waters sweet... by the intensity of the love I bear you.

He asked me not to change. Those were his last words to me...

"Don't change."

Well, things are going to have to change when he comes out.

He'll have no money at all.

So you're blaming me, too, are you? I'm not blaming anyone.

Bosie, you're not the only person on this earth Oscar cares about.

You've always hated me, Robbie... because Oscar loved and still loves me when you were just one of his boys.

I'm suffering just as much as he is, you know.

My life's ruined too.

I'm much younger than he is. I've hardly had any life, and it's ruined already.

When Oscar gets out, we'll live together properly.

We'll take a villa somewhere near here... Posilipo... or Ischia. Or Capri.

I'll take care of him.

I'll give him everything he wants.

I love him, Robbie.

Oscar's mine, and I'm going to have him.

"Years went over, and the giant grew very old and very feeble.

He couldn't play about anymore, so he sat in a huge armchair... and watched the children at their games and admired his garden.

'I have many beautiful flowers, ' he said.

'But the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."'


I'm afraid Cyril has got some idea why you're here.

I'm sending him to school in Germany.

I can't manage them on my own.

Your back isn't better then?

No, not really.

I may have to have an operation.

What I've done to you and the boys...

I can't...

I shall never forgive myself.

If we could choose our natures...

If we could only choose.

But it's no use.

Whatever our natures are, we must fulfill them... or our lives... my life... would have been filled with dishonesty.

Even more dishonesty than there actually was.

I've always loved you, Constance.

You must believe me.

I don't see how you can have done... not truly.

Not if all the time...

I didn't know.

"Know thyself," I used to say.

I didn't know myself.

I didn't know.

I suppose you want a divorce.

You have every reason.

I've been thinking, when you do come out... when they let you out... you can go to Switzerland or Italy... write another play, get yourself back.

You can.

You're so clever. You can.

I don't want a divorce.

Will you ever let me see the children again?

Of course.

But there must be one condition:

Oscar, you must never see Bosie again.

If I saw Bosie now, I'd kill him.

The children love you, Oscar.

They'll always love you.

Did anyone tell you?

They've been performing Salome in Paris.

"The giant hastened across the grass and came near to the child.

And when he came quite close, his face grew red with anger.

And he said, 'Who hath dared to wound thee?'

For on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails.

And the prints of two nails were on his little feet.

'Who hath dared to wound thee?' cried the giant.

'Tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him. '

'Nay, 'answered the child.

'For these are the wounds of love."'

Bosie thinks I'm jealous.

I think it will come as a shock to Bosie to realize... that even he is relatively unimportant in the scheme of things.

But, no doubt, Bosie will be remembered as long as Oscar... unfortunately.

I sometimes wonder...

if I hadn't...

pushed him into...

Don't.

Oscar was very lucky to meet you, Robbie.

Think who else it might have been.

Oh, I'll have that one. Thank you.

Must you go abroad again at once? I shouldn't be here now.

But has he got anywhere to go when he's released?

It'll have to be in France.

I'm going to see what I can arrange.

But here... when he leaves prison...

Good-bye, Mr. Harris. Good-bye, sir.

Good-bye, Mr. Snow. Thank you.

My dear Sphinx.

How marvelous of you to know what hat to wear at 7:00 in the morning... to meet a friend who's been away.

No, I'll keep this. What is it.

It's a letter to Bosie telling him... how I love him but can never see him again.

I'm going to ask Robbie to have it copied out before I send it.

I rather fear Bosie might throw it on the fire.

I call it De Profundis. It comes from the very depths.


"I know not whether laws be right... or whether laws be wrong.

All that we know who lie in jail... is that the wall is strong... and that each day is like a year... a year whose days are long.

Yet each man kills the thing he loves.

By each, let this be heard.

Some do it with a bitter look... some with a flattering word.

The coward does it with a kiss... the brave man with a sword.

Some kill their love when they are young... and some when they are old.

Some strangle with the hands of lust... some with the hands of gold.

The kindest use a knife... because the dead so soon grow cold."

I'm sure we can find an hotel near here.

Somewhere where you can work.

I've decided to see him again, Robbie. Yes.

I thought you might. I've nothing left.

I've lost my wife.

I've lost my children.

They won't allow me to see them now.

No one will ever read my plays or books again.

Yes, they will.

Bosie loves me more than he loves anyone else...

as much as he can love... and allow himself to be loved.

I think we need some more wine.

I find that alcohol... taken in sufficient quantities...

Can bring about all the effects of drunkenness.


"Life cheats us with shadows.

We ask it for pleasure. It gives it to us... with bitterness and disappointment in its train.

And we find ourselves looking with dull heart of stone... at the tress of gold-flecked hair... that we had once so wildly worshipped... and so madly kissed."


In this world, there are only two tragedies.

One is not getting what one wants.

The other is getting it.