Princess Caraboo

Bristol, England, early 19th century. A beautiful young stranger who speaks a weird language is tried for the crime of begging. But when a man claims that he can translate her dialect, it is understood that the woman is a princess from a far away land. She is then welcomed by a family of haughty aristocrats that only wants to heighten their prestige. However, the local reporter is not at all convinced she is what she claims to be and investigates. Is Caraboo really a princess?
(triumphant orchestral music)
(dramatic bright music)
(upbeat orchestral music)
– [Gutch Voiceover]
Sumatra, Java, Sulawese
these are places with
names so beautiful
that they must have been
given by poets.
My boyhood imaginings
were that my destiny lay
sailing down the trade routes
to those Spice Islands.
That I would carve a fortune
and marry a
potentate’s daughter.
But destiny has taken
a less romantic turn.
Instead I have become
an ink-stained printer
and journalist, none too
successful financially
and I will admit, not to
fortunate in love either.
Reluctantly in my
profession I’ve had to learn
the difference between the
imaginary world
and the world that is real.
But this story is not
imagined, and even though
in its way it’s a fairy tale,
it is true
and became as much my
story as it was hers.
(optimistic orchestral music)
In the summer of 1817
England may have appeared
a green and pleasant land,
but it could be
a dangerous and unwelcoming
place to a lone traveler.
Repressive laws had been
enacted, and it was not uncommon
for beggars and vagrants
to end hanging
from a soldier’s rope.
But in spite of these
measures, one traveler
managed to avoid the
army until farm workers
came upon her near the
village of Almondsbury.
(Caraboo singing)
– Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
(slow gentle music)
– Where is my wife,
where is Mrs. Hunt?
– She’s gone inside.
– George, will you all go home,
– The villagers are
after the five shillings
for reporting a vagrant but
she doesn’t look like a
beggar to me, Mr. Hunt.
(lively music)
– George do get about
your business.
She’s not a
fairground attraction.
– A foreigner?
– Yes, but she’s not French
so you don’t need to be alarmed.
– Maybe she’s not French Vicar
but what if she’s a Corsican?
– I can assure you she’s
not, and I can speak French
personally, and in
Corsica they speak French
or possibly Italian.
– [Soldier] Italian,
I had no idea.
– [Vicar] I happen to
believe she is a Turk.
– [Soldier] Vicar, we had
a Portuguese servant girl
during the Spanish
campaign and she
turned out to be a man.
– And what has such a
story to do with
this unfortunate young girl?
– He was a French spy.
– She’s obviously female.
– (yells in foreign language)
– [Vicar] For God’s sake
man, you’re not in Spain now.
– [Soldier] More’s the pity.
– I’m very sorry my dear.
(Caraboo hissing)
I’m very sorry, I’ll take
you somewhere more civilized.
(uptempo dramatic music)
Whoa, thank you Valjet,
will you wait for me please?
– Yes sir.
– Come along my dear.
Big house but very
ordinary people.
(knuckles knocking)
(arrow whooshing)
– [Betty] I think you might
have a gift for it ma’am.
– Yes I think I’m getting
a little more skillful.
– Yes ma’am, really truly.
– ma’am, Vicar’s here,
he’s brought somebody.
(gentle delicate music)
– Mr. Worrall has
gone to Bristol.
He won’t be back until tomorrow.
– Well I had hoped that–
– What makes you think
she’s Turkish?
– Her hat, madam.
– Oh.
– Caraboo.
– Caraboo, is that her name?
– I haven’t heard her
utter the word before.
You, Caraboo?
– Caraboo.
– Worrall, Worrall, I am Mrs.
– Worrall, Worrall.
– Ella, have Mr. Frixos
attend me in the drawing room.
Hurry along.
(expectant music)
– She not Greek, she
not Turkish.
I would know if she is Turkish
and she definitely not Greek.
– Well perhaps you could
ask her something
in your language, Mr. Frixos.
– Perhaps Mr. Hunt will take
her back where he find her.
– Frixos, ask her
something please.
– Yes madam. (speaks in
foreign language)
– Do you speak any other
foreign language?
– Only English.
– Is it her turban
that makes her
look so foreign, do you think?
– [Vicar] Perhaps it is.
– [Mrs. Worrall] My dear,
(slow gentle music)
– Madam she is gypsy, I
throw her out.
– I’m not so sure.
Frixos, take her down
to the servant’s hall
and make sure that she
gets some food and a bed.
– Yes madam.
– [Betty] So have you
got a name then?
– Leave her be.
– Cat’s got her tongue?
– Hey.
– Don’t you like meat then?
(speaks in foreign language)
– [Male servant] She saying
she loves your cooking
Mrs. Wilberforce.
– I don’t trust her.
Mrs. Worrall, I a little
anxious what Mr. Worrall say
when he come home.
– Oh Frixos, what Mr.
Worrall has to say
should be of no
concern of yours.
– Yes ma’am.
(soft gentle music)
– Sweet dreams.
(uptempo dramatic music)
– God almighty, I need a shot.
Frixos, get me a drink.
– Coming sir.
Good morning sir, sir.
(glass clanking)
– What the hell is that?
– That is a bust of
Homer on the table
designed by Chippendale,
the marble come from
a quarry in Carraba, Italy.
– Don’t you bloody well
patronize me, Frixos
especially not at this
hour of the morning.
Who is it?
– Oh, that is a filthy beggar.
– A beggar?
– Yes sir.
Mrs. Worrall take her
in last night.
You know the story of the
Good Samaritan?
– A beggar?
– Yes sir.
– Oh.
– The poor were
rioting last night.
The goons were called in
to restore order.
Seven dead, I couldn’t get back.
– Oh, that’s terrible dear.
– There were beggars
sleeping in the doorway
to Tulsey’s bank, I
come home and find
you’ve got beggars
sleeping under my roof.
– Our roof Mr, Worrall,
I pay for it.
And she’s not a beggar dear,
she’s a stranger in need.
– We’re all in need,
I’ve sent her to Bristol.
– You’ve done what?
– [Mr. Worrall] I’ve sent her
to the assizers in Bristol.
(bells tolling)
– [Haythorne] Does she
have any property
other than the
clothes on her back?
– A bundle containing a
change of linen
and a piece of soap, your
worship sailor’s marlin
spike and an apple sir.
– What is your name?
What is your name?
And she has no money.
– These coins sir, foreign
coins, but not a penny sir.
– All persons or foreigners
going from door to door
and placing themselves
in the streets to beg
are to be deemed idle
and disorderly.
Three months in a house
of detention.
(gavel pounding)
– Sir, I’ve seen one of the
prisoners talking with her sir.
– You have?
Bring him in.
(chains rattling)
– [Haythorne] Do you
know this woman?
– No sir.
– [Clerk] I’ve seen him
jabbering with her sir.
– No, no, no, no sir,
she’s just been teaching me
a few words of her language.
– And what is that?
– [McCarthy] I don’t know, sir.
– Where did she come from?
– I don’t know that either.
– [Haythorne] Well ask her
what she means by going
from door to door in
– (speaks in foreign language)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– [McCarthy] (speaks in
foreign language) Caraboo.
(door banging)
– Worrall.
– Worrall.
– Mrs Worrall, you fool.
(crowd laughing)
– Oh. (speaks in
foreign language)
– (yells in foreign language)
– What is she saying?
– I think she’s saying
something about a
(speaks in foreign language).
I know it sounds stupid but
I think that she’s saying
that her father is a, is a,
is a king.
– (yells in foreign language)
– Are you mocking this court,
– I don’t believe it either.
– Mr. Haythorne, may I
inquire as to
the correct spelling of
(speaks in foreign language)?
(crowd laughing)
– [Haythorne] Bloody
– Mr. Haythorne, may I
approach the bench?
– Well I wouldn’t believe
a word that comes out
of this Irish wretch’s
mouth or hers, king.
– She’s obviously a foreigner.
I know that ignorance
of the law is no defense
but how would she know
that to ask for food
was a criminal act,
well she wouldn’t.
Besides, the Vicar says
she wasn’t begging.
I implore you, Mr. Haythorne.
– I’ve placed this girl
under the supervision
of Mrs. Worrall until more
can be learned of her origins.
McCarthy, three months in the
house of detention, vagrancy.
(gavel pounding)
– Mrs. Worrall, Gutch, Felix
Farley’s Bristol Journal.
– Oh, so you’re Mr. Gutch.
I’ve been wondering what
manner of a man
has been writing such scurrilous
things about my husband.
– I would be most grateful
for an opportunity
to hear the young lady’s history
at any time it might be
convenient to you both.
– Mr. Gutch, in view
of the articles
you’ve published about my
husband’s bank
I think it unlikely that
he will allow you
even near our house,
good day sir.
– Good morning Mr. Gutch.
– Good morning.
I had never clapped eyes on
an Oriental princess before.
But then neither had Mrs.
As a journalist I know that
people will believe two things.
What they read in the newspapers
and what they want to believe.
And that’s the way of the world.
– There.
– (speaks in foreign
language) Worrall.
– Oh, good night dear girl.
(slow gentle music)
– Fancy Mrs. Worrall, royalty.
– Oh, we can’t be sure of that.
(slow gentle music)
– You go imply in your
newspaper that we are guilty
of corrupt practices in the
management of Tulsey’s bank
and then you have the
bare-faced gall
to ask for admittance
into my house.
Next you’ll be demanding
we publish Tulsey’s
bank borrowing, amn’t I
right my dear?
– Mr. Worrall, let’s not
confuse the two issues.
This girl has nothing to
do with Tulsey’s bank.
Her story should be
told, and your kindness
and hospitality to a
stranger in distress
will not go un-remarked upon.
– (chuckling) Don’t you
try worming your way
into my house, Mr. Gutch,
I’m wise to your
reptilian foot in the door–
– (singing in foreign language)
– Mrs. Worrall.
(energetic music)
– Oh goodness, what
is she doing?
– [Mr. Worrall] Whatever
it is, it’s a bloody
stupid place for it.
Frixos, get over there
and get her down.
– [Caraboo] (singing in
foreign language)
– Sir, I don’t think
she finish her song yet.
– Song, that’s not a song
for God’s sake.
I’ll do it myself, hold
the ladder now.
You got it Frixos?
– Yes I’ve got it.
– Well?
– Yes sir, I am here sir.
– Girl.
– Girl?
Caraboo Mr. Worrall.
– Princess, my dear, come
on, this way now, come to me.
– You are the butler,
aren’t you Frixos?
– Yes, regrettably.
– Oh, Mr. Gutch.
– Mrs. Worrall.
I’m not entirely accustomed
to addressing foreign royalty.
What would be the
appropriate form, ma’am?
– You are amusing yourself
at my expense, Mr. Gutch.
We are not claiming that
she is royalty.
That was your
countryman McCarthy.
Anyway, you can judge
for yourself.
I’m sure you’re capable
of that, Mr. Gutch.
My dear.
– [Caraboo] (speaks in
foreign language)
– Would it be appropriate
to kiss her hand?
– [Mrs. Worrall] I
suppose one might try.
(quiet gentle music)
(breath whooshing)
– Does she speak any English?
– She’s learning the odd word.
It seems that she was on a
ship, that she jumped overboard
and swam to shore.
– Shipwrecked.
– I’ve ventured that
perhaps she’d been enslaved
and that she escaped.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Wherever she comes from
she’s certainly exquisite.
May I try a little experiment?
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Caraboo, I trust this
is the accurate spelling.
– [Caraboo] Caraboo.
– Oh, Mr. Gutch.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– I must tell Mr. Worrall.
– It’s a good story, enslaved
princess washed ashore
in England, sell a lot
of newspapers.
But I must warn you, these
people will not take lightly
to being made fools of,
you should understand
that in this country,
perjury is a hanging offense.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Mr. Worrall!
– [Mrs. Worrall] Mr.Worrall!
– Here I am.
– Oh, Mr. Worrall,
wonderful news.
The princess can write.
– Oh good, good, good.
– I’d be interested in anything
you might have to tell me.
– She very clever, this girl.
– Do you think she’s a fraud?
– Yes, I know the quality,
these Worralls
they know nothing, they
are idiots, here sir.
Mr. Worrall is an idiot and
Mrs. Worrall is too kind.
That’s why she fooled.
– It’s a good story,
keep me informed
and I’ll make it
worth your while.
(dramatic upbeat music)
Is this the village
of Almondsbury?
– Yes sir, it is.
– Thank you.
(crowd chattering)
She drank it?
– A sip, she didn’t like it.
– To think it Harold, there
you was plying a princess
with drink on your cart.
– [Harold] I was not plying her.
Just gave her a sip of me ale.
– And then what happened?
– She came with me on my
cart with Amon
what used to work up Tallis.
– I think you want to be
a Prince Charming Harold.
I think you was courting
her in your own quiet way.
– I was not.
Anyway, then she ran
off up to Almondsbury.
– Did she pay you?
– No, but she left this
behind when she ran off.
(crowd chattering)
– Magdalen Hospital for
the reception
of penitent prostitutes.
Psalms, hymns, prayers,
rules, list of subscribers.
– [Harold] Is that what it says?
Where’d she get that then?
– Do you mind if I keep this?
– I can’t read it anyway.
– [Gutch Voiceover] Of
course this proved nothing
but the idea, the idea of
it was almost too absurd
and too wonderful to
be possible.
– I take no responsibility
for any of this.
I just hope to God
you’re not making
a bloody fool of yourself.
– She needs some
clothes made for her.
– At who’s expense?
– Mr Worrall, she has no money.
We must do what is right.
– [Seamstress] Perhaps
this, or maybe this.
– Perhaps the princess finds
your taste too dowdy, my dear.
Maybe these Bristol modes
aren’t fashionable enough.
(upbeat music)
– [Mrs. Worrall] Of course,
she wants her native attire.
– Not too native, if you
take my meaning.
– And to accompany
this there is no.
No, no.
– Oh I think she likes this one.
– The princess has
chosen one of my finest.
– Is that what she wears, Mrs.
– It’s very Oriental,
very Oriental.
(gong clanging)
– Your flag tells the
world that our home
has become your home my
dear, as long as you wish
to remain in England.
(dramatic music)
(soup slurping)
– You’re a fraud, I know
you’re a fraud
and I have spit in your soup.
No, personally I have
pissed in it.
– Frixos, are you
addressing the princess?
– [Frixos] I am telling
her about the soup.
It is cream of
sorrell and the cook
hope she like it very much.
– [Mrs. Worrall] You know she
doesn’t understand English.
– Neither does Frixos, so maybe
they’ll understand each other.
(Caraboo laughing)
You see my dear, she appreciates
my little witticisms.
– Surely you only
address a guest
when they address you, Frixos.
– [Frixos] Yes madam.
– [Mr. Worrall] Oh dear,
she’s tired out.
Your cream of sorrell’s
done for, Frixos.
– I’ll take her upstairs,
sweet dear creature.
I’d better go and see
that she’s comfortable.
– Good night my dear,
and to you too, my dear.
What’s the matter
with you Frixos?
– Nothing, nothing.
Mrs. Worrall is a
very kind woman.
She a saint, a saint.
– So I’m told.
– When I was in the
army in Athens
the capital of my country.
– Athens, yes, the Acropolis,
– I once met a woman who
took in all the stray dog
in our quarter, until
finally she have 38 dog.
– 38?
– Yes.
– What is your point, Frixos?
– That a lot of dog.
– That is a lot of dog.
(suspenseful music)
(pages ruffling)
– Look at this.
– Oh, oh.
Look at this, Mr. Frixos.
– [Frixos] What a thing
to do to your face.
– Oh, let’s see, let’s see,
oh Mr. Frixos.
– Betty.
– When we get back I want
you to keep the princess
upstairs for 10 minutes
before bringing her down.
– To make the grand
entrance for the Apthorpes.
– Yes that’s right, it’s
important that she makes
an excellent impression,
the Apthorpes are friends
of the Prince Regent.
You’ll break your bloody
neck woman, do get in.
– Mr. Worrall, I’m not
sure I should leave her
with just the servants.
– What do you mean,
just the servants?
Come on, she’ll be
perfectly all right.
– [Mrs. Worrall] (shrieking)
Stop it, Mr. Worrall.
(horse whinnying)
(suspenseful music)
– Princess, if you come clean
then we won’t tell Mrs. Worrall.
You see, we’re not gonna
have you lording over us
when we know you’re as
humble as us.
– We want to look at your arms.
Your arms, here, have a look.
– It seems she don’t like men.
– You do it then,
you’re a woman.
– See, of course she
don’t have any.
– That is only her arms.
– So where else do savages
put their tattoos, Mr. Frixos?
On their bums they do,
let’s have look all over.
You hold her arms,
push her over.
Oh, Mr. Frixos, look at that.
(Frixos yelling)
(cup shattering)
– (yells in foreign language)
(Frixos yelling)
(Frixos moaning)
– Was that you screaming, Mr.
– I am not often wrong, Mrs.
But I was wrong about her.
– [Mrs. Wilberforce]
Little savage.
– Thank you Betty.
(Betty laughing)
(printers clattering)
(knuckles knocking)
– Come in.
– There’s a Mr. Frixos
to see you sir.
– Fine, thank you.
– Frixos.
– You print the works of Mr.
A poet of great imagination.
– Unfortunately his
imagination does not run
to paying his last two bills.
Have you got something for me?
– I find out something.
She bite me, she
bite me so hard.
I know this is not the
bite of a civilized woman.
And now I have no more doubt,
only a savage would do this.
– My God, it’s severe, but
it’s not proof, Frixos.
– I have proof, I go
to the library
and I see in the book of Mr.
Cook’s voyages in the Pacific.
The peoples have the
tattoos on their bodies.
She had this same tattoo.
– Really, that is interesting.
– I have seen it on her leg.
She had very beautiful
leg for a savage.
– It is a sizeable place,
there should be
an opportunity for profit.
Look at Baggers who took
the salon trade
and two years later he
built himself a palace.
– I’ve been mulling it over.
– I would half rather
be pleased to grant you
favorable conditions
for a trading company.
– I should damn well hope so
I saved you from the poorhouse.
– If there was a
possibility for investment.
– You my lord, you will be
the first I shall approach.
Frixos, you know who broke this?
Well find out who did
it and get rid of them.
It’s an heirloom.
– (speaks foreign language)
– [Mr. Worrall] What’s
she all about?
– Caraboo.
– I think she’s
saying she did it.
– Caraboo. (speaks
foreign language)
(cup shattering)
– [Mr. Worrall] Hell’s bells.
– She’s an arbiter of taste, Mr.
– You must bring her to Bath.
We could present her at
a ball, a costume ball.
Javasoo costume, my dear could
you imagine the sensation
the sensation she would cause.
It might be a little
overwhelming just yet,
Lady Apthorpe.
I’m so pleased you could come.
– Thank you ma’am.
– [Mrs. Worrall] The
princess has shown
not a little interest
in the piano.
– I though we might
start with a composition
of Franz Schubert, ma’am,
if you think
it would please the princess.
– Yes, I think it might,
Lady Apthorpe?
What is it, Frixos?
– I’m observing the correct
manner for the turban
in honor of the princess.
– [Mrs. Worrall] Very good,
could you call the others in?
– Yes ma’am.
– Cinnamon, sandalwood.
– Xanadu did Kublai Khan, a
stately pleasure dome decree.
– [Mr. Worrall] Saffron,
– Cardamom?
– Cardamom.
Oh my God. (laughing)
I suppose our
presence is required.
– Yes.
– [Mr. Worrall] I hate
musical evenings, always have.
Isn’t that right, Frixos?
– Yes sir.
(gentle orchestral music)
– There is also the
diplomatic aspect.
We could use an ally
off the Javanese coast
to counter the Dutch, if
we achieve that
it would not go
unnoticed at Court.
A knighthood at least, a
peerage perhaps
if I could influence
the outcome.
– That would please Mrs.
Worrall a good deal, I dare say.
Personally I’m mostly
indifferent to that
sort of thing.
– Sh, Mr. Worrall please.
– Come now, milord
Worrall has a certain
ring to it, does it not, what?
(gentle orchestral music)
– Oh my dear, what
is the matter?
No, no stop, please
stop playing.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Play on, please play on.
– It is honor to play for
one so sensitive
to Mr. Schubert’s music, ma’am.
(gentle orchestral music)
(group chattering)
– That Schubert was quite
superb, was it good now.
– Yes it was good.
– Good night, so glad
you enjoyed it.
– Thank you so much.
– It was a great pleasure.
– Oh ho, your honor, that form.
– And don’t forget.
– No, no.
– Thank you so much.
– Your carriage awaits.
– Good night, Lady Apthorpe.
– Good night.
– Extraordinary behavior,
blubbing like that.
– Oh, I found it so charming.
Of course she’ll die of boredom.
– Another five minutes with Mr.
and I will succumb myself.
(Lady Apthorpe laughing)
– Bye.
– Bye.
Preposterous couple.
– Come along.
– A monopoly, a spice monopoly.
I’m going to be so rich.
(upbeat energetic music)
– Of course without
seeing the tattoo
I cannot comment on it,
but this is rubbish.
Scribbles, not Malay
or Javanese.
They bear no relation
to Chinese characters.
– What about these coins?
– Javanese, Indian, any
sailor employed
in the Eastern trade might
come back with a handful.
– My first instinct was
that it’s all
an elaborate deception.
– [Wilkinson] Judging by
these your first instinct
is the appropriate one.
– But there’s something
about her, in her bearing.
Pride, spirit, I can’t
quite dismiss her.
– She’s an imposter.
But at least she is an
imaginative one.
In fact, I should be
intrigued to see
this interpretation of an
Oriental queen.
(birds chirping)
– I sense you’re trying to
do her down, the pair of you.
– That’s certainly not the case.
Neither on my part, nor
the professor.
– I’m not here to treat her
maliciously Mr. Worrall.
This is a purely
academic inquiry.
Hers is a language I have
never before encountered.
– We’re all wary of imposters.
A shoemaker’s son is
now imprisoned in Ruall
for pretending to be Louis XVII.
– I read about it, it
was the French.
– The confidence of
your potential investors
in the spice trade
depends entirely
on this girl, does it not?
– (speaks in foreign language)
No. (speaks in foreign language)
No, ah, Malboric. (speaks
in foreign language)
No, aha, Mangean. (speaks
in foreign language)
No. Ah, Mandarin (speaks
in foreign language)
(speaks in foreign language)
Do you know what this is?
Of course you do, it’s a
counting string.
Common to every known
culture of the Orient.
Perhaps you’d like to
demonstrate to these gentlemen
just how it works.
Two, four, six figs, six.
Show us six.
(slow suspenseful music)
Aha, by her calculations
there are in the region
of 2000 figs on the table.
– [Gutch] Perhaps she
uses a different method.
– I think not.
– There are six figs, she
can see as well as we can.
– Perhaps so, but she cannot
count them on this cord.
Thank you Mr. Worrall,
this is a beautiful house
and I always enjoy a few
days away from Oxford.
– You’ve proven nothing
one way or another.
As I understand it there
are thousands of islands
in the East Indies, why
shouldn’t one of them
have been overlooked?
– (speaks in foreign language)
– I beg your pardon?
– (speaks in foreign language)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– What does that mean?
– (speaks in foreign
language) means black.
In several languages right
across India and Asia.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– She’s saying you’ve
got black teeth.
You should get them pulled.
– Mr. Worrall, have you
examined the markings
on her buttock?
– No, certainly not,
what do you take me for?
– [Wilkinson] Perhaps we
should do so now, what?
– I think you’ll find her
rather reluctant
as Mr. Frixos found out.
– Let us understand each other.
Are you suggesting we
disrobe her here and now?
– (speaks in foreign language)
– [Wilkinson] (speaks in
foreign language)
– What does it mean?
– It means God.
– [Mr. Worrall] Well
that makes sense.
She’s gone to her prayers.
– (sings in foreign language)
– Tell me that’s not a heathen.
– Mr. Worrall, would it be
possible for me to stay here
for a couple of days rather
than go back to my college?
I’m not prepared to dismiss her
without further investigation.
– Perhaps you’d be good enough
to let me know the outcome.
– Yes, of course.
It’s most intriguing.
(gong clanging)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– What does that mean?
– Goodbye, I presume.
– That’s what I thought.
– But not in Rijang or Lampun.
– Gently around my arm,
simple as that.
This is the proper way.
(upbeat lively music)
You’re a terrible student.
I will not forget this,
you come back here.
(upbeat lively music)
– Caraboo, Caraboo.
(upbeat lively music)
– (giggling) It’s a surprise.
– What kind of surprise?
– Well if I told you it wouldn’t
be a surprise, would it?
– Round, the world is round.
– [Gutch Voiceover] I tried
to imagine her in her world.
Far off place with a
beautiful name.
But I kept going back to a
more intriguing
and complicated idea, the
idea of an ordinary girl
with an extraordinary
♪ Why should you let your
wandering eyes ♪
♪ Entice your souls to
shame for sin ♪
♪ Scandal and ruin
are the prize ♪
♪ You take such fatal
ways to win ♪
♪ The brutal vice which
reason lied ♪
– Mr Gutch, Harrison,
surveyor of the charity.
– Thank you for seeing me,
you have an excellent choir.
– [Harrison] They practice hard.
– What happens to the women
who pass through here?
– We try to find
employment for them.
Some lead diligent,
God-fearing lives.
Others, God bless them,
don’t stay on
the straight and narrow,
fall back onto the streets.
– [Gutch] This is one
of your prayer books.
I came by it near Almondsbury.
– I was hoping to see
some names in it.
They write their names in them.
It’s forbidden, but they
all do it anyway.
– But there are no names.
– No, so it belonged to one
of our patrons or subscribers.
Anyone who gives a good
sum to the charity
is presented with one of them.
– Would you be able to give
me a list of your patrons
and of the women who’ve
been discharged
from the charity in
the last year?
I’m doing an article
for my newspaper
and I’d like to talk to
some of them.
– [Harrison] What
kind of article?
– A respectful one, I
respect the work you do here.
The kindness with
which you do it.
(child laughing)
– Worrall, enormously
grateful for this opportunity.
Her ladyship hasn’t
stopped talking about this
and neither has all of Bath.
– Bath is abuzz, abuzz, she
is the sensation of the town.
– Good, good.
(lively upbeat music)
– Apthorpe and Hobhouse
approached me in town.
Both sniffing after
an investment.
(crowd exclaiming)
– There’s plenty of that,
the word is out.
Look at them, they can
smell the spice.
There’s the bloody
journalist again.
– Now Sam, his articles are
provoking considerable interest.
– Oh Mr. Gutch, I did
enjoy your article
and I showed it to the princess.
– Did she manage to read it?
– I think she comes from
a tribe of woman warriors
Mrs. Worrall, just as well
she wasn’t with
Napoleon at Waterloo.
– Oh, Lord Willington said
the same thing.
– He’d been presented already?
– [Gutch Voiceover] If
this girl had really
come from the streets
but had invented
her own language and kingdom
to make fools of the class
she had been taught to
fear and obey.
If she’d been so
imaginative as to do that
I swear I would
cherish her forever.
– The Dutch have colonized
many islands in the East Indies
but I suspect there are
still many more
that lie far enough away
from the trade routes
to remain uncontacted
and unexplored.
We believe the princess
comes from somewhere here
near Mindanao, her
dialect being Manguindago.
You have probably read
Mr. Gutch’s accounts
in Felix Farley’s
Bristol Journal
of the circumstances,
sad circumstances
by which she arrived
upon our shores
stolen from her palace
home by pirates.
Sold as a slave to the
captain of a merchant ship
from whom she escaped
by courageously jumping
overboard in the
Bristol channel.
– A lock of the princess hair,
Thank you.
– Have you ever been to London?
– Ah, Caraboo book.
– [Gutch] Ah, so you’ve
seen it before.
– England, book, Caraboo.
– Did someone give it to you?
Did someone give it to you?
– Caraboo book.
– [Gutch] If I may.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– I’m sorry, I’m
going to use it.
(speaks in foreign language)
– (speaks in foreign language)
(quiet gentle music)
(quiet suspenseful music)
– Princess, princess,
the tattoo.
With your permission, princess.
You can trust me, I’ll
just have a little look.
This is a scholarly
Just a little further, oh yes,
No, princess, that is too
far, my heavens, perfection.
(Mrs. Worrall gasping)
Mrs. Worrall.
– Mr. Wilkinson, it’s Sunday.
– I beg you, Mrs. Worrall,
don’t jump to conclusions.
I was merely in the
interests of scholarship
examining her tattoo.
– I’m sure you were Mr.
But I do feel in the
interests of propriety
a maid at least should
have been present.
Good night, Mr. Wilkinson.
(Wilkinson crying)
Professor, what is it?
– Never in my lifetime
has such a flame
been lit within me, I don’t
know which way to turn.
(quiet gentle music)
– Poor man.
– Made a bloody fool of
himself, a bloody fool.
He served his purpose.
I want some peace around
here, it’s like having
a bitch on heat in the house.
– Mr. Worrall.
– [Frixos] You are finished sir.
– No, I am not finished.
– You’re a long way from
home and perhaps lonely.
A princess’ duty is to her
station, her royal station.
– How is she going to
understand that, for God’s sake.
Men, no-y, no men.
Understand, no men, or
anyone else for that matter.
– Keep your voice down, Mr.
Worrall, you’ll upset her.
– We spent a lot of
money on you.
A bed like that
doesn’t come cheap.
– Oh, I think you’ve made
your point, Mr. Worrall.
– [Mr. Worrall] I hope I have.
– Rijang, I knew she was
telling the truth, those eyes.
Shall I see you at
Harvest Thanksgiving?
– Afraid not, I’m on my
way to London.
(lively upbeat music)
– [Gutch] Any man
obsessed is to be pitied.
And it wasn’t just the
story I was obsessed with.
It was her.
Although I longed to discover
something about the girl
one side of me was heartened
to be finding nothing.
If I did discover a
different tale
to publish it would be
to condemn her.
(gentle thoughtful music)
– I’ll never take in another
one from the Magdalene.
The girl stole and there
were always men
knocking on the door,
lurking in the mews.
– [Gutch] What happened to her?
– She’s dead,
drowned at Chatham.
♪ Good is the Lord whose
liberal hand ♪
♪ Is steady opened wide ♪
(horses galloping)
(men chattering)
– Ah, here’s a little
person, where is everyone?
– They’ve all gone to church.
– And why aren’t you at church?
– I’m a Catholic.
– Tut tut.
My dear girl, we have not
come here to see the Warrolls.
We have come to see the
princess, take me to her.
♪ Earth is dead ♪
♪ Redeem the path,
instead reach ♪
– Look at this.
– Oh I say, that is fine.
– I don’t suppose they
even know it’s here.
– Rupert, I have been
explaining to the princess
that the Prince Regent himself
has especially requested
that she attend the ball.
– And what did her
highness say to that?
– She said she would be
delighted to come.
– [Rupert] Delighted, a
scholar on little melanges.
I had no idea you could
speak to Javasoo.
– The bitch.
– Which one?
– Lady Apthorpe, of course.
I’m sure she gave the
princess no choice.
Did she give her any choice?
– Did she?
– No ma’am, they made me
take down the princess’ flag
and they took her off.
– We’re gonna go to this ball.
– No, I can’t bear to,
it’ll be so demeaning.
– So we’ll be demeaned, it
won’t be the first time.
(knocker pounding)
– [Gutch] Good morning, John
Gutch to see Mrs. Peake.
– Won’t you come in sir?
– [Gutch] Thank you.
– We’ve had three girls from
the charity in the last year.
I look upon it as a duty
to take them in.
– And what’s become of them?
– May I ask why you’re
asking these questions?
– Mr. Gutch is writing an
article for his newspaper
on the Magdalene charity,
on the good work
that the charity does.
– I see.
– Two are still with us,
and the third has left
to go to another household.
Oh, but that one was
never a prostitute.
In fact, when Harrison
asked her how long
she’d been on the town,
she thought he was asking
how long she’d been in London.
She was a simple girl.
– What did she look like,
this girl?
Was she beautiful?
– Beautiful, no I
never thought so.
But men often have such
different views.
You wouldn’t describe
her as beautiful
would you my dear?
– No, no I would not.
– Her name is Mary Baker,
she’s with a Mrs. Matthews
in Clapham, she’s a kind woman
who seems fond of the girl.
I’ll give you her address,
and you can decide
for yourself if you agree
with my husband
on the question of
her good looks.
– If she’s presently employed
in Clapham I won’t need to.
Thank you for your time.
– Charlotte, see Mr. Gutch out,
my dear.
– [Gutch] Thank you very much.
– (speaks in foreign
language) That means goodbye.
– In what language?
– It’s Mary’s language.
– Come along Miss Peake.
– [Gutch Voiceover] With
those three words
the world of imagination
had become one of reality.
(fireworks exploding)
(lively music)
♪ Balls of wits and
wicked stardust ♪
♪ Former leaders fair maligned ♪
♪ All the nightfall’s
been affected ♪
♪ Hand unsteady as the wind ♪
– His royal highness, the
Prince Regent.
– Sh.
♪ So much altered from
what ladies ♪
♪ Were 2000 years ago ♪
♪ If they call an after nature ♪
♪ Blessed on English
dreams I dreamt ♪
♪ So much altered from
what ladies ♪
♪ Were 2000 years ago ♪
♪ Even once the accusation ♪
♪ Men our sex unjustly blame ♪
♪ They are slaves to ♪
– My dear Margaret, the dance.
(crowd applauding)
– King?
– No, no dear, this is his son.
An absolutely different
kettle of fish.
– Oh how witty, look at
all of us, all dressed up.
– Your royal highness, may
I present her royal highness
Princess Caraboo of the
island nation of Javasoo.
– May we instruct our
new cousin in the new
continental dance which
the press has declared
unwholesome, disreputable,
and lascivious?
(crowd laughing)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Oh dear.
– An imprudent choice of
costume, Charles.
(women laughing)
– Now, it’s really
terribly simple.
Back, side, together, one, two,
Back, side, together, one, two,
Margaret, she’s a very
good little dancer.
(lively dance music)
(Gutch grunting)
(crowd applauding)
Quite enchanting,
quite enchanting.
– Sweet.
– Now when my new pavilion
at Brighton is completed
you shall live in it.
(horses galloping)
– I’m not going in.
– [Mr. Worrall] I’m
certainly not going in.
– This is so humiliating.
I feel ridiculous.
– I feel ridiculous too.
(fire blasting)
(crowd exclaiming)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Highness.
– Who is that fellow?
– [Lord Apthorpe] I
don’t know sir.
– The trouble with the
aristocracy today
is that they have no respect
for the royal family.
– Probably a Republican.
– Mary, Mary Baker, I
know that you are
Mary Baker from Witherich,
I fear for you.
I fear that you’ll
be discovered.
The consequences of that
will be terrible.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– Stop it, I know you
are Mary Baker.
Have you any idea of the danger
you’re putting yourself in?
Mary, I care what
happens to you.
I know you think this is
all an amusement
but it’s a mad and dangerous
thing you’re doing.
– Princess, may we
have the pleasure
of the next dance?
(slow gentle music)
Who was that fellow,
looked like Byron.
– This way sir.
(drumsticks pounding)
(lively dance music)
(horse whinnying)
(Worrall snoring)
– Wake up, wake up.
– What’s happening?
– It’s morning.
– Are they still dancing?
– No, no, it’s quiet.
– God’s teeth, what shall we do?
Do you think we should go in?
Do you think you should go in?
Yes, I’ll wait here.
(gentle slow music)
(shoes clacking)
– Oh, Jane, what a shame
you’re so late.
You missed a marvelous evening.
– [Rupert] Yes, you have.
– I wasn’t aware I was invited.
– Well of course you were,
silly girl. (laughing)
– Well done, Mrs. Worrall,
my darling, darling woman.
Well done.
(horses galloping)
– [Driver] Mr. Worrall sir, sir.
– God, they’ve sent
troops after us.
– [Soldier] Halt, halt in the
name of the Prince Regent.
(horses galloping)
(horses whinnying)
– Lieutenant Gordon at
your service ma’am.
I am charged by his royal
highness the Prince Regent
to ensure safe passage to
you and your attendants
to your place of residence.
– Ha, jolly good, well done.
Convey our gratitude to his
royal highness, carry on.
– [Soldier] March!
(dramatic lively music)
– [Gutch Voiceover] This
girl’s story would sell
my newspaper, but it was
much more than just a story.
To me she was the most
wonderful creature in the world.
And I was not going to
endanger her.
I put her at enough
risk already.
Here’s the piece on the ball.
– That’s all of it, I
thought you said
you’d be a longer piece.
– I decided against the
longer version.
(paper rustling)
– Ah, at a ball given in her
honor by Lord and Lady Apthorpe
the Princess Caraboo, wearing
a simple white elegant dress
danced with a variety
of handsome partners.
– Go on, Mr. Frixos.
– But her most ardent
and persistent admirer
appeared to be the Prince
Regent himself.
(women gasping)
– I hope your majesty
will approve
the form of invitation
to a modest ball
to be held her at Nowell
in your majesty’s honor
at the end of the
month of November.
We are hoping that your
recent presentation
to the Prince Regent will
encourage his royal highness
to do us the honor of
attending the festivity.
– Does she understand?
– She will.
(uptempo expectant music)
– Please go on, Mrs. Peake.
– When I told Charlotte
about the princess
in the newspaper, we don’t
often see the Bristol papers.
She told me that the girl
who was in our employ
Mary Baker was her
name, had often told her
a bedtime story of a similar
princess who was kidnapped
from her palace sold as a
slave and jumped off a ship
in the Bristol Channel, it’s
an odd coincidence, yes?
(gentle quiet music)
– Mary?
Mary, don’t you recognize me?
– It is Mary.
– Mrs. Worrall, there’s no
doubt about it.
This is the girl I
employed myself as a maid.
– Is this true?
– Very sorry ma’am,
I’m very sorry.
– Worthless, because of her,
Damn her, she lied, and
that is perjury.
– But a trial, a spectacle,
surely we don’t want to
undermine the position
of the bank any further.
– The bank’s done for Sam.
The world knows we’ve
been made bloody fools of.
– We are really the guilty ones.
– Who’s guilty, us?
– Yes, us, we wanted her
to be a princess.
You for greed and to
enrich yourselves
and I to gain the
admiration of society.
– And as Christians we are
taught blessed are the merciful.
– Rubbish, the law is the
law, and I as magistrate
and you as citizens have
a moral responsibility
to put a criminal like
that at the end of a rope.
Don’t we Sam?
– But you can’t hang this
girl for what she’s done.
– [Haythorne] Oh yes I can.
– I think Mr. Haythorne
is right my dear.
We do have a moral
– Mr. Worrall, until now
I was not fully aware
of the true nature of
your character.
– Well hang her tomorrow,
are you with me?
– I’m with you, of course.
– Mrs. Worrall, may I have
a word with you please?
– Mr. Worrall says he’s
gonna have her hanged.
– Hanged, poor princess.
Will they do it do you think?
– [Mrs. Wilberforce] Of
course they will.
They’ve done folk for less.
– Yes, but to be hanged.
– Well, I wish I had the
pluck to do what she done.
She made fools of them
all, see, and she had
the time of her life doing it.
That girl danced all night
with the Prince Regent.
Well I say good on her, that’s
what I say, good on her.
– That’s what I say too.
– That’s Worrall’s best claret.
– Sod him.
To her royal highness, she
not Greek, she not French.
She not Indian, she not
African, she not Russian.
She our own princess, long
live the Princess Caraboo.
– Long live the
Princess Caraboo.
– Long live the
Princess Caraboo.
(knuckles rapping)
(thunder rumbling)
– I suppose you’ve come
to tell me you told me so.
– I haven’t come to do that.
– I’m sorry to have
deceived Mrs. Worrall
’cause she was deceived
because she was kind.
But them others, Mr.
Worrall and them others
I don’t mind about them.
– They’re the ones that
may cost you.
– Well, I don’t care what
they do to me.
– I care what they do to you.
I don’t think what you’ve
done is reprehensible.
I think it’s remarkable,
an adventure.
– Adventure, I suppose it was.
– How did you make up the
story, invent the language?
It’s a feat of the imagination.
– Is that what it is?
It wasn’t nothing difficult.
Them sailors all have tales
to tell of far-off lands
from roving far over the oceans.
– Is that where it started?
– No, London.
I seen a French girl begging,
and I see how good she does
because people take
pity on her plight
before they do on one of
their own kind.
So I try pretending I’m French,
to beg.
But they take me to
see a Frenchman.
So I has to pretend
I’m someone else
and that’s how it starts.
I don’t know, it was easy.
When I was her, the princess,
I was her.
I just become her, it
comes natural
and I’m not Mary Baker no more,
I’m her.
– I’d like to hear you
tell her story.
– I’m not telling it,
you’ll be here all night.
– Tell me part of it,
a small part.
From the moment
where she escapes
from the English captain.
When she lands in England,
if you like.
– “Land ho,” cries the sailor.
Now the princess don’t
know what that means
but she sees land that’s
as green and sweet
as the ocean is salt and blue.
“England,” one of the
sailors sang
like a man sings to the
girl he loves.
And the princess is so happy
at the sight of this land
she starts to weep,
and the captain
he puts his hand on her
to send her back below
and she shouts, (speaks
in foreign language)
and that means, unhand
me, you indelicate rogue.
I’m a personage of royal
blood that is bluer
than the deepest blue
of a sapphire.
And she dived over the side
and swum strongly to shore.
You laughing at me, Mr. Gutch?
– Not in the least, it’s
very beautiful.
Go on with it, please.
– And when her tears had
dried so that she could see
she saw England, a land
of unhappiness and misery.
The folks are
begging and hungry.
The princess wandered
across the country
from village to village,
and people was mostly kind
and fed her and gave
her shelter.
But then she came to a village
where they reported her
for begging, but she
weren’t begging, you see?
‘Cause princesses
don’t ever beg.
Even when they’re dying
of hunger they don’t beg.
So she done nothing wrong,
and that’s the truth.
I done nothing wrong,
not really.
Not enough to be hanged for.
– I’ll do whatever I can
for you Mary, I promise.
(slow suspenseful music)
– Would you make sure that these
are delivered to Mr. Gutch?
– Certainly ma’am.
– Thank you.
(shoes clacking)
(Frixos whispering)
– Ask him to wait in
the library.
– He insists, madam.
– Who insists?
This is scandalous.
– It is.
This is libel, and it can
and will be answered as such.
– I think not sir, it
proclaims a fraud
on the part of yourself and
other officers of the bank
and you will answer it as such.
– May I remind you I am
a magistrate?
– And these documents
prove that you have
illegally issues bank
notes several times
the value of your
bullion deposits.
– Those documents are the
private and confidential
property of the bank and
I demand to know
how you came by them.
– I would have thought
it sufficient to know
that they’re in my possession.
But I have a proposal,
an exchange.
One fraud for another.
(door clanking)
– Mary, there’s a ship
sailing on the morning tide
bound for America, and
you’re to be on it.
– Oh ma’am.
– Here are your clothes,
and 20 guineas.
With this letter, apply
to the Moravian sisters
when you arrive in Philadelphia.
– Oh, thank you Mrs.
Worrall, I’ll never forget
your kindness, never.
– Don’t thank me child,
you owe your deliverance
to Mr. Gutch, and in a way,
I owe my deliverance to you.
(Caraboo sighing)
I wish you luck Mary.
– Oh.
(quiet gentle music)
– I wish you every
success and happiness
in America, princess.
– Thank you Mr. Frixos.
(soaring music)
– Mr. Worrall, after 10
years of marriage
the time has come for me
to say enough is enough.
I’ve arranged lodgings for
you in Bristol.
The servants will remain
with me, of course
with the exception of Betty.
You’ll need a housekeeper.
(seagulls calling)
– Perhaps you’ll write to me.
I’d like to hear how
Princess Caraboo
fares in the New World.
– New World, it will
be a new world for me.
Maybe I won’t ever be
coming back.
– Perhaps you will one day.
– You might find your
way to America one day.
– [Gutch] Maybe.
– I couldn’t ask for
more than that.
(quiet gentle music)
– [Gutch Voiceover] In a
way that I never expected
this girl had held out
her hand to me
and now I was letting her go.
– (speaks in foreign language)
– (speaks in foreign language)
What are the chances for
love in a man’s life?
Very few, maybe one, and
I had not had the courage
to declare myself,
instead the coward in me
had taken refuge in his safe,
dull life.
– I’m just down to the pie
shop, do you want anything?
– No, thanks.
This was my reality, I was a
printer, newspaper publisher
and a man of supposed
responsibility, or was I?
(quiet hopeful music)
(sailor shouting)
– Head her at the point, Mr.
(soaring hopeful music)
– (speaks in foreign language)
– What language is that?
– It’s Irish, it means
there you are, here I am.
(dramatic soaring music)
– Mrs. Worrall, Mrs. Worrall,
have you seen the paper?
– No, why?
– Princess Caraboo entertained
by Napoleon Bonaparte.
– No, no, can’t be true.
– Read it, very good story.
– The ship carrying
Princess Caraboo to America
was driven south by a
great tempest
and passed close aboard
the island of Saint Helena.
At her insistence the
princess was put ashore
and presented to the emperor,
oh Frixos.
– There’s more.
– A week later, the
princess and Mr. Gutch
boarded a ship bound
for America.
(soaring dramatic music)
– [Frixos] It’s a very good
story, it it true do you think?
(quiet gentle music)
(driving urgent music)
(quiet gentle music)