We may think ourselves familiar in this day and age
with the notion that whores of every description
can very easily achieve fame and fortune.
But towards the end of the 19th century
in what came to be known in France as the Belle Epoque,
a select group of courtesans became, for a short period,
the most celebrated and powerful women in the long history of prostitution.
包括有Emilienne d'Alencon 自以为是个演员
There was Milienne D'Alenson, who fancied herself as an actress,
but was better known as the woman
who'd all but bankrupted King Leopold II of Belgium.
还有Liane de Pougy
There was Liane de Pougy,
who, when shown a million and a half francs worth of jewels
by her lover of the moment
became paralyzed with indecision.
Thus, obliging him to buy her the entire display.
She later became a nun.
这是La Belle Otero
There was La Belle Otero,
Spanish dancer, provoker of suicides
and lover of at least six crowned European monarchs,
whose breasts served as models
for the cupolas on the new Carlton Hotel at Cannes.
这位是Lea de Lonval
And there was Lea de Lonval.
Born Leone Vallon,
envied by many as the most beautiful of all.
Her good sense had enabled her
to avoid the most dangerous hazard facing those of her profession,
namely falling in love.
Now, with the departure of her most recent lover
to his Russian estates,
Lea, aware that she was not far away from being a certain age
was beginning to entertain the idea of retiring.
Is there anything in the world more wonderful
than a bed all to oneself?
- 太太 晚安 - 晚安 Rose
- Good night, madame. - Mm, good night, Rose.
Headquarters of the Belle Epoque
was Maxim's restaurant
whose maitre d' possessed an indispensable notebook
containing a long list of names of available women.
Pommery is on its way, Fred.
One of his most regular customers
是Fred Peloux 也叫Cheri
was Fred Peloux, known as Cheri,
the rich but neglected son of another celebrated courtesan.
As the only child of a woman focused obsessively on her career,
Cheri had led a solitary and often confusing life.
Now, at the age of 19,
truth be told, after several years of conscientious debauchery,
he was exhausted enough to be starting himself to think longingly
of the notion of retirement.
Every so often,
Lea de Lonval觉得应该早点起床
Lea de Lonval found it necessary to rise early
and prepare herself as if for gladiatorial combat.
哎 Rose 为什么我要答应跟那个恶心的女人
Oh, Rose, why did I agree to have lunch with that dreadful woman
in that hideous mausoleum?
Ernest 带我去Palace of Varieties
To the Palace of Varieties, Ernest.
Like most women
who have devoted their lives to various forms of love
and been ostracized from polite society as a result,
Lea now found herself confined to an extremely narrow circle of friends.
Today, she was visiting her former colleague, Charlotte,
once one of her most ruthless competitors,
a woman of legendary astuteness and skill
at extracting immense sums from her clients.
Normally ravenous for gossip,
today Charlotte was preoccupied with a particular problem of her own.
That child will be the death of me.
- 无计可施 - Charlotte那孩子19岁了
- The death of me. - Charlotte, that child is 19.
Can you remember what a gorgeous little boy he was?
All those curls.
I expect I remember better than you.
I can't imagine what you mean.
Sometimes I wonder if it's the same person.
Black circles under his eyes.
Doesn't get up till the middle of the afternoon.
Never stopped nagging me until I bought him a new motorcar.
And I used to think of myself as such a happy mother.
We all have our cross to bear.
To tell you the truth,
I was hoping you might have a word with him.
He's always thought of you as a kind of godmother.
He pays no attention to me anymore.
But I'm sure he'll listen to anything you have to say.
"No more than ten cigarettes a day," he said.
And brandy only at the weekend. He said it was my heart.
So there is one.
- Nounoune - Cheri
- Nounoune. - Cheri.
What sort of time do you call this to be making an appearance?
- 哇 天啊 这是谁啊? - 你少恶心
- Oh, my God, who's that? - Don't start that.
哦 当然 你是我母亲 对吗?
Ah, yes, you're my mother, aren't you?
I vaguely remember meeting you a few times when I was little.
That's not at all amusing.
I was told you were seen in a bar last week
sitting on old Lili's knee.
Don't be ridiculous. Lili hasn't got any knees.
They disappeared years ago.
You see what I mean?
Show me your tongue.
You shouldn't drink gin.
- 白兰地也不行 - 可是 让我母亲独饮
- Or brandy. - Well, it wouldn't be polite
to let my mother drink alone, now would it?
You don't look at all well.
没错 Lea 他现在骨瘦如柴 皮包骨头了
You're quite right, Lea. He's a bag of bones. A bag of bones.
- 我很好啊 - 你脸色很差
- I feel fine. - You're a bad color.
Distinctly green about the gills.
我是想问你 亲爱的 你星期天有空吗?
I meant to ask you, my dear, are you free on Sunday?
No, I'm going down to my house in Normandy tomorrow.
- 跟Speleieff一起? - 不 我跟他玩完了
- With Speleieff? - No, that's over.
Speleieff's gone back to Russia. Do concentrate.
Your memory, Cheri.
We went to the farewell dinner a couple of months ago.
啊 对 我们还吃了海螯虾
Ah, yes. We had langoustine.
I could just do with a plate of them now.
One minute he won't eat, the next he's asking for langoustine.
Which one are you taking to Normandy with you?
I'm going on my own.
Nice to be so rich.
You're welcome to come if you like.
There's nothing to do there but eat, drink and sleep.
Where is this place?
It's just down the coast from Honfleur.
I'm so exhausted all the time.
I said you don't look at all well.
去 去 去!
Pfft, pfft, pfft!
Do you good to spend some time in the country.
Just simple things.
Grilled chicken, strawberries and cream.
- 没有女人? 听起来太诱人了 - 哈哈哈
- No women? Sounds irresistible. - Ha-ha-ha.
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