North & South (TV serial)
North & South is a British television drama series.
Margaret Hale: My name is Margaret Hale. Who are you?
Man: I'm Williams, Mr. Thornton's overseer. He asked me to seek out properties for your father.
Margaret: [takes a look around the room of the house] How much is the rent of the year?
Williams: Mr. Thornton will discuss these matters with your father. You need not trouble yourself.
Margaret: I've no idea who your Mr. Thornton is. I thank him for his trouble, but my father and I are sharing the task of securing a property. I've spent the last few days seeing what Milton has to offer. So, I have a very good idea of price.
Williams: Mr. Thornton thinks this will do very well for your father.
Margaret: Where is Mr. Thornton?
Williams: Excuse me?
Margaret: [walks to the door] Take me to see this Mr. Thornton. If you won't deal with me, I'll have to deal with him.
[At the factory Margaret sees a young and handsome Mr. John Thornton standing on the podium overseeing the workers. But then he yells.]
Mr. Thornton: Stephens! Put that pipe out!
[Stephens takes off in a run and Mr. Thornton books after him]
Mr. Thornton:I saw you! Come here! [Catches up to him and pushes him against the wall searching his pockets] Smoking again!
Stephens: I wasn't! I wasn't smokin', I swear!
Mr. Thornton: [finds the pipe] Still warm. I warned you! [yanks his shirt and punches him in the stomach and then the face. Margaret sees them both struggling.]
Margaret: Stop! [Mr. Thornton throws Stephens to the ground and kicks him] S--Stop, please, stop!
Mr. Thornton: [turns to her panting] Who are you? What are you doing in here?
Margaret: My name is Margaret Hale...
Williams: Miss Hale! -I'm sorry, sir. I told her to stay in the office.
Mr. Thornton: Get her out of here. [to Stephens] Aye, crawl away on your belly, and don't come back!
Stephens: [groaning] Please, sir. I have little ones.
Mr. Thornton: [kicks him again] You know the rules!
Stephens: My children'll starve, sir--
Mr. Thornton: Better they starve than burn to death! Get out before I call the police! [to Williams and Margaret] Get that woman out of here!
Mr. Hale: Margaret? Is that you? [sees her peeking through the study door] Oh, Margaret! Come in, Margaret, come in. [stands up with his mysterious guest] Meet my new friend, and first proper pupil, Mr. Thornton. This is my daughter, Margaret.
[Mr. Thornton stands and Margaret's smile fades as she recognizes him]
Mr. Thornton: I believe your daughter and I have already met. I'm afraid Miss Hale and I met under rather less than pleasant circumstances. I had to dismiss a worker for smoking in the sorting room.
Margaret: [with her teeth clenched] I saw you beat a defenseless man who is not your equal.
Mr. Hale: Margaret!
Mr. Thornton: No, she's right. I was angry, I have a temper. Fire is the greatest danger in my mill. So, you see I have to be strict--
Margaret: A gentleman would not have used his fists on such a... pathetic creature. Or shout at children!
Mr. Thornton: I dare say a gentleman has not seen 300 corpses laid out on a Yorkshire hillside as I did last May. And many of them were children... and that was an accidental flame. The whole mill destroyed in 20 minutes.
John Thornton: [Walking into the sitting room and sees Mrs. Thornton sewing in her chair] You still up? I thought you'd be exhausted.
Mrs. Thornton: Why should I be? Where have you been?
John: Just walking. [sighs as he removes his tie]
Mrs: [smiles skeptically] And where have you been walking?
John: I promised you I would not go there and I did not.
John: But... [sits down across from her] Mother, you know I will have to go there tomorrow, and you know what I will have to say.
Mrs: Yes. You could hardly do otherwise.
John: [narrows his eyes] What do you mean?
Mrs: I mean, that you are bound in honor, and she has shown her feelings for all the world to see.
John: Her feelings--?
Mrs: She rushed out in front of an angry mob and saved you from danger. Or are you telling me I imagined that? Do you think none of the servants saw? Do you think it has not become the tittle-tattle of Milton?
John: She did save me. But, Mother... I dare not believe such a woman could care for me.
Mrs: Don't be so foolish. What more proof do you need, that she should act in such a shameless way?
John: [breathes shakily]
Mrs: [puts her hand on his cheek] I'm sure she will take you from me. That is why I didn't want you to go and see her today. I wanted one last evening of being the first in your affections. [looks down at her sewing] I will have to change the initials in our linen. Bear her name now. Hers and yours.
John: I know she does not care for me... but I cannot remain silent, I must ask her.
Mrs: Don't be afraid, John. She has admitted to the world. I may yet even learn to like her for it. It must have taken her a great deal to overcome her pride.
[The next morning, in the Hale's house.]
John Thornton: I've not noticed the color of this fruit. Miss Hale, I believe that I was very ungrateful yesterday.
Margaret Hale: You have nothing to be grateful for.
John: I think that I do.
Margaret: Well, I did the least that anyone would have.
John: That can't be true.
Margaret: Well, I was... after all, responsible for placing you in danger. I would have done the same for any man there.
John: Any man? So, you're saying you approve of the violence? Do you think I got what I deserved?
Margaret: Oh, no. No, of course not. But they were desperate... if you had explained.
John: I forgot. You imagine them to be your friends.
Margaret: If you were to be reasonable...
John: Me? Are you saying I'm unreasonable?
Margaret: If you would talk with them, and not set the soldiers on them, I know --
John: They will get what they deserve. Miss Hale, I did not come here just to thank you... I came because... I think it very likely -- I know I've never found myself in this position before. It's difficult to find the words. Miss Hale, my feelings for you... are very strong.
Margaret: Please, stop. P--Please don't go any further.
John: Excuse me?
Margaret: Please don't continue in that way. It's not the way of a gentleman.
John: I'm well aware that in your eyes at least, I'm not a gentleman. But I think I deserve to know why I am offensive.
Margaret: It offends me that you should speak to me as if it were your duty to rescue my reputation!
John: I spoke to you about my feelings because I love you! I have no thought of your reputation!
Margaret: You think that because you are rich... and my father is in reduced circumstances that you could have me for your possession? I shouldn't expect any less from someone in trade!
John: [walks over to her] I don't want to possess you! I wish to marry you because I love you!
Margaret: Well, you shouldn't! Because I do not like you, and never have. [Long pause]
John: One minute we talk of the color of fruit... the next of love. How does that happen? [turns away]
Margaret: My friend, Bessy Higgins... is dying.
John: And that, of course, is my fault, too?
Margaret: [sighs ashamed] I'm sorry.
John: For what? That you find my feelings for you offensive? Or is it because I'm in trade, that you only think I'm capable of thinking of terms of buying and selling? Or that I take pleasure in sending my employees to an early grave?!
Margaret: No! No, no, of course not. I--I'm sorry to be so blunt. I've not learned yet how--how to refuse. Or how to respond when a man talks to me as you just have.
John: Oh, there are others? This happens to you every day? Of course. You must have to disappoint so many men that offer you their heart. [about to turn and leave]
Margaret: Please, understand, Mr. Thornton--
John: I do understand. I understand you completely. [turns and walks out of the study]
Henry Lennox: There's a ten-minute stop here. Sorry for the delay, but we're halfway back the London. I think we have to wait for a northbound train to pass.
[Margaret nods and steps out of the car to have a look around. Then she sees a familiar person pulling in from the northbound train. And it's John. He opens the door and pauses when he sees her and smiles as he walks to her]
John: Where are you going?
Margaret: To London. I—I've been to Milton.
John: You'll not guess where I've been. [pulls from his pocket a small yellow rose and gives it to her]
Margaret: You've been to Helstone. [smiles] I thought those had all gone!
John: I found it in the hedgerow. [smiles] You have to look hard. [gently] Why were you in Milton?
Margaret: On business. Well, that is, I... have a business proposition. Oh, dear! I need Henry to help me explain. [turns to go back to her car but is stopped by John]
John: You don't need Henry to explain. [beckons her to sit down]
Margaret: I have to get this right... [sits down and does not notice Henry watching them] it's a business proposition. [pause] I have some 15,000 pounds. It is lying in the bank at present earning, very little interest. Now, my financial advisers tell me that if you were to take this money, and use it to run Marlborough Mills, you could give me a very much better rate of... interest. [looks down at her lap nervously] So, you see, it is only a business matter. You'd not be obliged to me in any way. It is you who would be doing... [John gently grabs her hand which makes her pause] ... me the service.
[long and silent pause. Margaret strokes John's hand and then brings it up to her lips and gently kisses it, John just strokes her cheek as if she is divine. And he leans in and kisses her. And she kisses him back. It was the one kiss that young girls dream of. But Henry is watching with his head hung low.]
Conductor: London train about to depart! The London train is about to depart!
[just after they part, Margaret stands and makes haste to her car, and John lets her]
Margaret: [to Henry in the car] Henry, I...
Henry: [hands her carpetbag to her] Goodbye, Margaret.
[Margaret smiles slightly and Henry shuts his door]
[John is standing at the door of his car and sees Margaret's reflection in the window. He turns and smiles]
John: Coming home with me?
[Margaret nods and John takes her bag for her and they step onto the train together. They say nothing, but they smile at one another and kiss as they travel home]