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He Knew He Was Right
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Novel | Script | Film


The Novel

Louis discovers a secret
From He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
Chapter III, 'Lady Milborough's Dinner Party'

To be cautioned about his wife's conduct cannot be pleasant to any man, and it was very unpleasant to Louis Trevelyan. He, too, had been asked a question about Sir Marmaduke's expected visit to England after the ladies had left the room. All the town had heard of it except himself. He hardly spoke another word that evening till the brougham was announced; and his wife had observed his silence. When they were seated in the carriage, he together with his wife and Nora Rowley, he immediately asked a question about Sir Marmaduke. 'Emily,' he said, 'is there any truth in a report I hear that your father is coming home?' No answer was made, and for a moment or two there was silence. 'You must have heard of it, then?' he said. 'Perhaps you can tell me, Nora, as Emily will not reply. Have you heard anything of your father's coming?'

'Yes; I have heard of it,' said Nora slowly.

'And why have I not been told?'

'It was to be kept a secret,' said Mrs. Trevelyan boldly.

'A secret from me; and everybody else knows it! And why was it to be a secret?'

'Colonel Osborne did not wish that it should be known,' said Mrs. Trevelyan.

'And what has Colonel Osborne to do between you and your father in any matter with which I may not be made acquainted? I will have nothing more between you and Colonel Osborne. You shall not see Colonel Osborne. Do you hear me?'

'Yes, I hear you, Louis.'

'And do you mean to obey me? By G--, you shall obey me. Remember this, that I lay my positive order upon you, that you shall not see Colonel Osborne again. You do not know it, perhaps, but you are already forfeiting your reputation as an honest woman, and bringing disgrace upon me by your familiarity with Colonel Osborne.'

'Oh, Louis, do not say that!' said Nora.

'You had better let him speak it all at once,' said Emily.

'I have said what I have got to say. It is now only necessary that you should give me your solemn assurance that you will obey me.'

'If you have said all that you have to say, perhaps you will listen to me,' said his wife.

'I will listen to nothing till you have given me your promise.'

'Then I certainly shall not give it you.'

'Dear Emily, pray, pray do what he tells you,' said Nora.

'She has yet to learn that it is her duty to do as I tell her,' said Trevelyan. 'And because she is obstinate, and will not learn from those who know better than herself what a woman may do, and what she may not, she will ruin herself, and destroy my happiness.'

'I know that you have destroyed my happiness by your unreasonable jealousy,' said the wife. 'Have you considered what I must feel in having such words addressed to me by my husband? If I am fit to be told that I must promise not to see any man living, I cannot be fit to be any man's wife.' Then she burst out into an hysterical fit of tears, and in this condition she got out of the carriage, entered her house, and hurried up to her own room.

'Indeed, she has not been to blame,' said Nora to Trevelyan on the staircase.

'Why has there been a secret kept from me between her and this man; and that too, after I had cautioned her against being intimate with him? I am sorry that she should suffer; but it is better that she should suffer a little now, than that we should both suffer much by-and-by.'

Nora endeavored to explain to him the truth about the committee, and Colonel Osborne's promised influence, and the reason why there was to be a secret. But she was too much in a hurry to get to her sister to make the matter plain, and he was too much angered to listen to her. He shook his head when she spoke of Colonel Osborne's dislike to have his name mentioned in connection with the matter. 'All the world knows it,' he said with scornful laughter.

It was in vain that Nora tried to explain to him that though all the world might know it, Emily herself had only heard of the proposition as a thing quite unsettled, as to which nothing at present should be spoken openly. It was in vain to endeavor to make peace on that night. Nora hurried up to her sister, and found that the hysterical tears had again given place to anger. She would not see her husband, unless he would beg her pardon; and he would not see her unless she would give the promise he demanded. And the husband and wife did not see each other again on that night.
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The Script

Louis discovers a secret
From Andrew Davies' screenplay of Anthony Trollope's He Knew He Was Right

Int. Curzon Street house
Bedroom - night

Emily seated at dressing-table
Jenny removes her hair clips
Louise enters

Door: opens
Music: out


Louis: Would you leave us, Jenny, please.

Jenny exits.
Door: closes

Intercut between them as Emily turns to him.


Emily: What is it, Louis?

Louis: Is there any truth in a rumour I hear that your father is coming home?

Emily: Yes.

Louis: Then why was I not told of it?

Emily: Because it was a secret.

Louis: A secret from me and everyone else knows it. Why was it a secret?

Emily: Colonel Osborne didn't wish it to be known.

Continue to intercut between them as he moves to her.

Louis: Colonel Osborne. You share secrets with Colonel Osborne and keep them from me?

Emily: Colonel Osborne ...

Louis: I don't want to hear any more about Colonel Osborne! I don't want you to see him again, Emily.

Emily: Louis ...

Louis: You shan't see him! Do you hear me?

Emily: Yes, I hear you, Louis.

Louis: You may not know it, but you have already damaged your reputation by your familiarity with that man. Do you realise that last night I had to endure Lady Milborough reminding me of my responsibility to keep you out of moral danger?

She stands.

Emily: Listen to me.

Louis: I won't listen till you give your promise not to see that man.

Continue to intercut between them.

Emily: Louis, you can't seriously mean that.

Louis: Good God, Emily, what are you trying to do? Ruin yourself and destroy our happiness?

Emily: You are destroying our happiness by your unreasonable jealousy. How could you speak to me like that? You know I'd never do anything to wrong you.

Louis: Then give me your word.

Emily: You shouldn't have to ask for it. Of course I shan't see Colonel Osborne if you forbid it. It will be very embarrassing and hurtful, and everyone will know and gossip about us, but if that's what you want, you shall have it. But what I can never forgive is that you should suspect me.

Continue to intercut between them.

Louis: I never said.

Emily: Then what is all this about? Do you understand how deeply you have hurt me, Louis?

Music: in

Emily: (cont) If we can't trust each other, what hope is there for us?

Louis: Emily ... Emily ...

They embrace.

Emily: Tell me you trust me, Louis.

Louis: Of course I trust you, my love. But you must accept my judgement as your husband, that this man is dangerous to young married women.

He reacts as she pulls away from him.

Emily: You don't trust me at all, do you? If you insist on coming to my bed tonight, of course you must, it's your right. But if you permit it, I should prefer to sleep upstairs.

End on Louis as she exits.
Door: closes
Music: out



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The Film

Louis discovers a secret
From the film He Knew He Was Right as directed by Tom Vaughan

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