THE SPENDTHRIFT MISER CARLO GOLDONI




THE SPENDTHRIFT MISER

CARLO GOLDONI

A COMEDY IN FIVE ACTS


DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

COUNT CASTELDORO.
MARQUIS DEL BOSCO.
CHEVALIER DEL BOSCO.
GIACINTO.
FRONTINO.
FIORILLO.
TAILOR.
JEWELLER.
ARAMINTA.
ELEONORA.
DORIMENE.

_Visitors and a Notary who do not speak._

_Scene--Paris._




THE SPENDTHRIFT MISER.




ACT I.


SCENE I.--Count.

_Count._ At last I am determined to marry. How! I marry! I, who have
always avoided expense! I, who have detested all intercourse with
ladies! Well, in this case, I am hurried away in my own despite.
Ambition has induced me to obtain a title; therefore, should I die
without children, my money is lost! and children themselves will but
bring trouble! [_Calls._] Frontino!


SCENE II.--_Enter_ Frontino.

_Front._ Here, sir!

_Count._ Hark ye!

_Front._ I have found a tailor, sir, as you ordered me; and a tailor of
the first notoriety.

_Count._ Will he come directly?

_Front._ Very soon. He was obliged first to wait on a duke. I was lucky
enough to find him at home when he was about to step into his coach.

_Count._ His coach?

_Front._ Yes, sir.

_Count._ His own coach? His own horses?

_Front._ Beyond all doubt. A superb carriage, and excellent nags.

_Count._ O Lord! He's too rich. Is he in repute?

_Front._ In the greatest. He works for the first families in Paris.

_Count._ But his honesty?

_Front._ On that subject I have nothing to say. But why, Signor Count,
did you not employ your own tailor?

_Count._ Fie! My own tailor on such an occasion! I have need of several
suits; and, as they must be grand, magnificent, and made to perfection,
shall I, if any one should ask who is my tailor, shall I answer, "Signor
Taccone," whose name nobody knows?

_Front._ Then, sir, from what I hear, you are soon to be married?

_Count._ So soon, that this very day, and in this very house, I am to
sign the contract: I have therefore called you to give the necessary
orders. On this occasion, I shall have a large company to dine with me,
and must have such a dinner--in short, brilliant! grand! splendid! Not
that I would satiate the indiscreet, or gorge my guests; but I would
surprise, by an air of grandeur--you know what I mean?

_Front._ Yes, sir, tolerably well; but to do all this will not be quite
so easy. I must inquire whether the cook--

_Count._ No, no, Frontino; I would not have you dependent on the caprice
of a cook. Take the direction of everything upon yourself. I know your
talents, the readiness of your wit, and your zeal for your master's
interest. There is not in the whole world a man like Frontino! You can
work miracles; and on such an occasion will surpass yourself.

_Front._ [_Aside._] Ha! his usual mode. Coaxing me when he wants me; but
afterwards--

_Count._ Here is a list of the guests whom I have invited. My sister
lives in this house, and my future spouse and her mother have the
adjoining apartments. Here is a note of the other guests. We shall be
thirty at table. Hasten to them all, and get a positive answer from
each, that, in case of refusals, other persons may be invited.

_Front._ Thirty guests! Do you know, sir, how much a dinner for thirty
will--

_Count._ Perfectly; and will employ your discretion to combine economy
and magnificence.

_Front._ For example, you gave a supper a few nights ago to three
gentlemen, and--

_Count._ Ay, that was a trifle; at present I would be talked of.

_Front._ But this trifling supper you thought so dear that--

_Count._ Lose no time in useless words.

_Front._ You threw the account in my face, and have not yet--

_Count._ Here is my sister. Begone!

_Front._ [_Aside._] O Lord! what will become of me? This time, friend
Frontino, by way of recompense, prepare yourself to be kicked out of
doors. [_Exit._


SCENE III.--_Enter_ Dorimene.

_Count._ Good morning, dear sister; how do you do?

_Dor._ Perfectly well. How are you?

_Count._ Never better. Fortunate and happy man! I am to possess a bride
of high birth and merit.

_Dor._ Then you are determined in favour of Eleonora?

_Count._ Ay, sweet sister! She is your relation; you proposed her to me,
and I therefore have reason to give her the preference.

_Dor._ [_Ironically._] Her and her portion of one hundred thousand
crowns, with as much more perhaps at the death of her mother.

_Count._ You will allow, sister, that such conditions are not to be
despised.

_Dor._ True; but you, who are so--

_Count._ I understand you. A man like me, having sacrificed a
considerable sum to obtain a title, should have endeavoured to marry
into an illustrious family. I have thought much, and combated long this
reigning inclination, but I know the prejudices of the old nobility; I
must have paid dearly for the pompous honour of such an alliance.

_Dor._ That is not what I wish to say.

_Count._ I am determined to marry the charming Eleonora.

_Dor._ But if the charming Eleonora should feel no love for you?

_Count._ My dear sister, I do not think myself a person to be despised.

_Dor._ But inclinations are capricious.

_Count._ Has Eleonora told you she cannot love me?

_Dor._ She has not precisely told me, but I have great reason to doubt
it.

_Count._ [_To himself, vexed._] This is a little strange.

_Dor._ Why are you angry? If you take in ill part--

_Count._ No, no; you mistake me. Speak freely and sincerely.

_Dor._ You know the confidence you have placed in me. Having discoursed
together concerning this family, I wrote to Madame Araminta, inviting
her and her daughter to pass a few days at Paris.

_Count._ And they have been a fortnight with you. This I know must give
trouble, and bring expense; and as you have done it for my sake--I--my
duty--my obligations are eternal.

_Dor._ By no means, brother. The expense is trifling, and the
inconvenience small. I love this family, and, beside being related to
my husband, am greatly interested in its behalf. Eleonora is the best
girl on earth, and her mother is no less respectable. A good heart,
economical, and to the most exact economy she unites prudence and
regularity of conduct.

_Count._ Excellent; and so has been the education of her daughter. But
now tell me--

_Dor._ Sincerely, brother, in my opinion, Eleonora loves you neither
much nor little.

_Count._ On what do you found this strange suspicion?

_Dor._ I will tell you. When your name is mentioned, she looks down and
gives no answer.

_Count._ Bashfulness.

_Dor._ When she hears or sees you coming, she is in a tremor, and wishes
to hide herself.

_Count._ At her age that is not extraordinary.

_Dor._ When this marriage is mentioned, the tears are in her eyes.

_Count._ The tears of a child? Can anything be more equivocal?

_Dor._ And though so equivocal and so full of doubt, will you dare to
marry her?

_Count._ Certainly, without the least difficulty.

_Dor._ It seems you love her to distraction.

_Count._ I love--I do not know how much.

_Dor._ You have scarcely seen her twice.

_Count._ Is not that enough to a feeling heart like mine?

_Dor._ Ah, brother, I know you.

_Count._ Your penetration is a little too quick.

_Dor._ I do not wish that you should hereafter have to reproach me.

_Count._ Yonder is Frontino.

_Dor._ If you have business--

_Count._ [_With affected kindness._] Will you go?

_Dor._ We shall meet again soon. I only wish you to think a little on
what I have said, and before you marry--

_Count._ Fear nothing, dear sister. Do me the pleasure to dine with me
to-day. I will send to invite Madame Araminta and her daughter. We shall
have many guests. The notary will be here after dinner, and the contract
will be signed.

_Dor._ To-day?

_Count._ No doubt: Madame Araminta has pledged her word.

_Dor._ [_Ironically._] I give you joy.--[_Aside._] I will never suffer
Eleonora to sacrifice herself for my sake. If I could but truly
understand her heart--I will try. [_Exit._


SCENE IV.--_The_ Count, _and then_ Frontino.

_Count._ Poor girl! A little too diffident of me. Does not think me
capable of subduing a tender and inexperienced heart! Besides, she
carries her delicacy rather too far: in marriages of convenience, not
the heart, but family interest is consulted. Well, Frontino, what have
you to say?

_Front._ The tailor is come, sir.

_Count._ Where is he?

_Front._ At the door, sending away his coach, and giving orders to his
servants.

_Count._ His servants?

_Front._ Yes, sir.

_Count._ _Apropos_: that reminds me that you must write immediately to
my country steward, that he may send me six handsome youths, tall, well
made, the best he can find on the estate, that the tailor may take their
measure for liveries.

_Front._ Six clowns in liveries!

_Count._ Yes, to honour my wedding. Tell the steward that all the time
they stay here, their country wages shall be continued, besides having
their board. You know this sort of people take care not to overload
their plates.

_Front._ Never fear, sir, they will not die of indigestion.

_Count._ Hold. Take the key of the closet where the plate is kept; let
it be displayed, and all brought on the table.

_Front._ But, sir, your plate is so antique, and so black--it will be
necessary at least to have it new polished.

_Count._ Oh, silver is always silver. Here comes the tailor, I suppose.

_Front._ Yes, sir. Enter, Signor, enter.


SCENE V.--_To them the_ Tailor.

_Tail._ I am the most humble servant of your most illustrious lordship.

_Count._ Come near, sir. I was impatient to see you. I want four suits
for myself, and twelve liveries for my servants.

_Tail._ It will do me honour to serve you, and have no doubt but it
shall please you.

_Front._ My master pays well.

_Tail._ I have the honour of knowing him. Who is it that does not know
the illustrious Count Casteldoro?

_Count._ The occasion requires all possible display of splendour.

_Tail._ I will show you stuffs of gold and silver.

_Count._ No, no; I do not wish to look as if caparisoned in gilded
leather. The dresses must be noble and rich, but nothing with a shining
ground.

_Tail._ You prefer embroidery?

_Count._ I do; four embroidered suits, but in the best possible taste,
the patterns rich and delicate.

_Front._ [_Aside._] Hey-day! I do not know my master.

_Tail._ Rich, but light embroidery?

_Count._ No, sir: Spanish point--ample, massive, and of the best
workmanship; well designed, splendid, but nothing that shines.

_Tail._ Everything that you can desire. Shall I take your measure?

_Count._ Yes--on one condition.

_Tail._ What is it?

_Front._ [_Aside._] Ay, let us hear the condition.

_Count._ You must tack on the embroidery slightly, that it may not be
spoiled. I would have no buttons of false diamonds. I shall wear my four
suits each of them twice during the first eight days of my nuptials, so
that your embroidery will still be new, and may again be sold as such.
You must now tell me what you will charge for the cloth, the making, and
the use of your ornaments.

_Front._ [_Aside._] Yes, yes, he is still himself.

_Count._ But first concerning the liveries.

_Tail._ With your permission, I wish to have the honour of speaking to
you in private.

_Front._ [_Angrily to the_ Tailor.] If I must not stay, I can go.

_Count._ By no means. Frontino is part of the family: you may speak
before him.

_Front._ [_To the_ Tailor.] You see, sir! Hem!

_Tail._ No, friend; I did not mean you, but--look to see if we have no
listeners. [_Slily gives_ Frontino _a crown._]

_Front._ [_Aside._] A crown! It is long since I had so much.

_Tail._ Sir, I comprehend the nature of your project. You are not
naturally inclined to pomp; but, sagacious and prudent as you are, you
willingly sacrifice to appearance and convenience. I esteem myself most
fortunate in having the honour to serve you. I admire gentlemen who
think like you, and laugh at those who ruin themselves, while I give
them every aid in my power, that they may be ruined in style. In me you
have discovered the only man fit for your purpose: set your heart at
rest; I have the means to satisfy you.

_Count._ [_Aside._] If I do not mistake, this is a most smooth-tongued,
artful--[_Aloud._] Well, then, you will make my four suits!

_Tail._ Pardon me, sir, your idea is not practicable. I could not avoid
paying extremely dear for the embroidery; and my delicate conscience
would never permit me to sell it again as new.

_Count._ [_Aside._] His delicate conscience! Why did he come to me?

_Tail._ I will confide a secret to you which I have treasured jealously;
for, were it known, I cannot tell you how much it would prejudice my
character and credit. I, who am the court-tailor, tailor to the
principal nobility of Paris, I secretly, and under a borrowed name,
carry on a flourishing trade in old clothes.

_Count._ An old clothesman keep his coach?

_Tail._ Which is maintained by that very means.

_Front._ [_To the_ Count.] You see, sir, I have found you a man of
sincerity; a man whose heart is as open as his face; a man who merits
all your confidence.

_Count._ [_Aside._] I perceive.--[_Aloud._] Should I find this to be to
my interest?

_Tail._ I will show you two dozen of most magnificent suits, all new,
that never were worn but once or twice at the most.

_Count._ Will they be known again?

_Tail._ No danger of that; everything that enters my magazine assumes a
new face. I export the most splendid samples that France produces, and
I import the spoils and riches of the principal cities in Europe. You
shall see suits the most superb, and stuffs of the greatest rarity. It
is a pity you will have neither gold nor silver.

_Count._ Nay, should it be anything of uncommon beauty and taste, gold
and silver would not offend me.

_Front._ To be sure, if the streets were to be paved with gold, we must
walk.

_Count._ But the price.

_Tail._ See, admire, and select; act just as you please.--[_Aside._] I
have found the very man I wished for.--I will soon be back, dear
sir.--[_Aside._] Paris is the place; everything a man wants is there to
be found.

_Front._ Have you by chance anything that will sit genteel, and make me
look like a gentleman's gentleman?

_Tail._ [_Aside._] I will clothe you from head to foot, only be my
friend.

_Front._ Your friend! On such conditions, who could refuse?

END OF THE FIRST ACT.




ACT II.


SCENE I.--Dorimene _and_ Eleonora.

_Dor._ Come here, my dear Eleonora; I wish to speak to you alone. My
brother, I believe, is gone out. [_Looks out._] He is not in his
cabinet.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] What can she have to say? She has a friendship for
me, but I believe her interest is more for her brother. I can expect no
consolation.

_Dor._ We are alone, and may speak freely. Permit me first to observe
that within these few days you have had a serious, melancholy air, which
seems but little to suit your expectations.

_Eleon._ It is natural to me, Madame; more or less, I am always so.

_Dor._ Excuse me; but on your arrival at Paris you had no such gloomy
expression. You are entirely changed, and certainly not without cause.

_Eleon._ But really there is no such change.

_Dor._ My good young friend, you conceal the truth, and want confidence
in me. Be a little more just, and rest assured that, though I proposed a
marriage between you and my brother, no foolish ambition makes me wish
it should succeed at the expense of your heart. Tell me openly what are
your wishes; speak freely, and you shall see whether I am your friend.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] If I durst, but--No, no.

_Dor._ Have you any dislike to my brother?

_Eleon._ I have not long had the honour of his acquaintance, Madame.

_Dor._ His age, for example, may seem a little too great when compared
with your own.

_Eleon._ The age of a man does not appear to me a thing of great
importance.

_Dor._ You perhaps think that my brother is rather too economical.

_Eleon._ You know, Madame, I have been educated in economy.

_Dor._ If so, my dear Eleonora, to my great satisfaction, I have been
entirely mistaken, and you will be perfectly happy with my brother.

_Eleon._ I!--Do you think so?

_Dor._ No doubt; it cannot be otherwise. I have questioned you with the
best intentions, and you have answered--sincerely, as I must believe.

_Eleon._ Oh, certainly.

_Dor._ Then be at peace; your heart tells me you will be happy.

_Eleon._ [_Affected._] My heart, Madame!

_Dor._ Your heart.

_Eleon._ Ah! I do not understand my own heart.

_Dor._ Why are you so much moved?

_Eleon._ [_Looking off the stage._] Did not some one call me?

_Dor._ Called? Where? By whom?

_Eleon._ [_Going._] Perhaps my mother--perhaps somebody--

_Dor._ No, no; pray stay. Your mother knows you are with me, and
therefore cannot be in fear. I have something more to say to you.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] How difficult to disguise my feelings!

_Dor._ Remember, your heart has told me--

_Eleon._ [_Timorously._] What, Madame?

_Dor._ You are in love with another.

_Eleon._ [_Confused._] I, Madame!

_Dor._ You; your blushes confirm it.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] Heavens! have I betrayed myself?--[_Aloud._] You
will not tell this to my mother? I shall be lost!

_Dor._ No, no; fear nothing. Though you have discovered that you cannot
confide in me, I love you tenderly, and am incapable of giving you
needless pain. Here your mother comes; let us consider between
ourselves.

_Eleon._ Ah, Madame! [_Embracing._]


SCENE II.--_Enter_ Araminta.

_Aram._ Well, child; I fear you are troublesome.

_Eleon._ Pardon me, but--

_Dor._ We are friends, and I entreated her to keep me company.

_Aram._ You are kinder to her than she deserves. I cannot understand
her; she is become so melancholy and dull.

_Dor._ The air of Paris may not agree with her.

_Aram._ Do you think so? Since she left the place of her education, she
is no longer the same. Nothing pleases, nothing diverts her. Music,
reading, and drawing are all forsaken. I have spared no expense, and
have taken no little delight in perceiving her progress; while, at
present, I am equally surprised to see her thus negligent. I willingly
incur expense for any good purpose; but no one can be more angry than I
am at squandering money.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] It is very true. I no longer know myself.

_Dor._ Nay, Madame.

_Aram._ If she wishes to return to her retirement, why not say so?

_Dor._ Oh, no, Madame; she has no such wish.

_Aram._ But why, then, child, are you so gloomy, so indolent? You are
soon to be married, and to direct a family; this requires activity,
attention, and order, as you may see by my example. I am busy from
morning to evening, here and there, going, coming, helping, commanding,
and sometimes obliged to find fault; but, by these means, all goes well.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] I hoped to do the same, but all my hopes are flown!

_Dor._ Oh, Madame, when your daughter's heart shall be at ease--

_Aram._ At ease! What does she want? Is not the marriage contract to be
signed to-day?

_Dor._ Here comes my brother! He can best inform you--

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] How miserable am I!


SCENE III.--_Enter the_ Count _and a_ Jeweller.

_Count._ I am happy, ladies, to find you together. I came purposely to
ask your advice.

_Aram._ On what subject? Ladies are sometimes excellent advisers.

_Count._ [_To the_ Jeweller.] Show your case of jewels.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] Jewels! He may well ask advice in such articles; it
is easy to be cheated.

_Jew._ [_Presenting the case to_ Dorimene.] Please examine if there can
be purer and more perfect diamonds.

_Count._ Pray give me your opinion.

_Dor._ I think them admirable! What say you, Eleonora?

_Eleon._ [_With indifference._] I do not understand such things.

_Aram._ I do--show them to me. Though I never wore any diamonds, trade
has made me well acquainted with them. [_Taking the case._] These are
fine, indeed! Perfectly assorted, and of a beautiful water. What is
their price?

_Count._ Oh, that is a secret between ourselves. [_To the_ Jeweller.] Is
it not?

_Jew._ My lord--I have nothing to say.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] So much the worse; the Count will be the more easily
imposed upon. He comes to ask advice, and then refuses to hear it.

_Count._ [_Apart, to the_ Jeweller.] My good friend, will you trust your
diamonds with me three or four days?

_Jew._ [_To the_ Count.] If the ladies think them good, and well chosen,
I should prefer--

_Count._ Nay, friend; jewels of this value must not be purchased without
reflection. Knowing me, you cannot be afraid.

_Jew._ By no means! They are at your service.

_Count._ Be pleased to return at the end of the week. I know the price,
and you shall then have the money or the diamonds.

_Jew._ I am much obliged to you, Signor. [_Exit._


SCENE IV.

_Count._ [_Aside._] Excellent! just as I wished!--[_To_ Eleonora.] Will
you do me the favour, Madame, to wear the jewels I have the honour to
present you, at least for to-day.

_Dor._ To-day?

_Count._ It is the day on which we are to sign the contract, and we
shall have thirty persons at table.

_Aram._ Thirty!

_Count._ At least, Madame.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] He will ruin himself! But I will hear more.

_Count._ [_Presenting the case to_ Dorimene.] Dear sister, let me
request you to take this case, and to kindly be present at the toilet of
this lady, to assist in arranging the diamonds. Will you do me the
pleasure, charming Eleonora, to accept my sister's aid?

_Eleon._ [_Coldly._] My mamma never wears diamonds.

_Aram._ Do not be silly, child. I did not wear diamonds, because my
husband was too prudent to indulge in such expenses; but, if the Count
think differently, complaisance requires your acquiescence.

_Eleon._ But, you know, mamma--

_Aram._ Oh, I know--I know, child! You do not know good breeding. Accept
them gratefully.

_Eleon._ [_Aside._] Unhappy me!--[_To the_ Count.] Signor--I am greatly
obliged.

_Dor._ [_Apart to the_ Count.] Are you satisfied with such a cold
manner?

_Count._ Perfectly.

_Dor._ Have you no dissatisfaction; no fears?

_Count._ Not the least.

_Dor._ [_Aside._] What a singular man is my brother?


SCENE V.--_Enter_ Frontino.

_Front._ Here is a letter, sir.

_Count._ With your permission, ladies.

_Aram._ By all means. [_To_ Dorimene.] Let us examine the jewels a
little.

_Count._ [_To himself, having read the letter._] The marquis comes at an
ill time! After a dinner of thirty guests, I must give him a supper! He
asks it with so little ceremony too! How can it be managed?

_Dor._ What is the matter, brother?

_Count._ [_Affecting cheerfulness._] Nothing, nothing. I have just
received news which gives me pleasure. The Marquis del Bosco is arrived,
and coming to sup with me this evening.

_Eleon._ [_Agitated._] What do I hear?

_Aram._ I know the Marquis; his county seat is not three miles distant
from mine.

_Count._ You will see him this evening, with the Marchioness his
daughter, and the Chevalier his son.

_Eleon._ [_Still more agitated._] The Chevalier! O Heaven!

_Count._ I hope they will be in time to be present, when we sign the
contract.

_Eleon._ [_Still aside._] Fatal trial! How shall I support it?

_Aram._ What is the matter, daughter?

_Eleon._ Nothing--not much--a sudden giddiness.

_Count._ [_To_ Araminta.] For Heaven's sake, take care of--[_To_
Frontino.] Don't go.

_Aram._ The open air will revive her.

_Dor._ Let us walk into the garden.

_Aram._ By all means.

_Dor._ Is the door open, brother?

_Count._ No; but here is the key.

_Dor._ [_Aside._] He will trust it to nobody, but has it always in his
pocket.--Come, Eleonora.--[_Aside._] This may be a proper opportunity.
[_Retiring with_ Eleonora.]

_Count._ [_To_ Araminta.] I hope, Madame, this attack is trifling; but
the young lady should not be exposed to the least danger. If you think
proper, we will defer the dinner of to-day, and have a supper instead.

_Aram._ Just as you please--but your dinners and suppers--I have much to
say to you on such subjects. My daughter may want me; I will return
presently.


SCENE VI.

_Count._ [_Earnestly._] Hark ye, Frontino! send messengers immediately,
to inform the guests I have invited that, instead of dinner, I entreat
them to honour me with their company at supper.

_Front._ So, so! But it will be difficult to find them all, so late in
the day.

_Count._ No matter. Those who may come to dinner must be told of the
change. They will return to supper, or not, as they please.

_Front._ Yes, Signor.--[_Aside._] Admirable! quite in character!
[_Exit._

_Count._ This visit comes at a lucky time! Nothing could be more
fortunate.


SCENE VII.--_Enter_ Araminta

_Count._ Well, dear Madame? Eleonora?

_Aram._ All, I hope, will be well.

_Count._ Then I shall be happy; for health should be our first care. I
have sent round to the guests, with an invitation to supper this
evening.

_Aram._ Thirty persons at supper!

_Count._ I hope so, Madame.

_Aram._ Permit me to speak openly, and tell you all I think.

_Count._ You cannot give me greater pleasure.

_Aram._ Is it not extreme folly to assemble thirty persons, twenty of
whom, at least, will make a jest of you?

_Count._ A _jest_ of _me_?

_Aram._ Beyond all doubt. Do not think I am avaricious; thank heaven,
that is not my defect; but I cannot endure to see money squandered.

_Count._ But, on such a day, and under such circumstances.

_Aram._ Are they your relations, whom you have invited?

_Count._ By no means. A select company; the nobility! the literati! the
magistracy! all persons of distinction.

_Aram._ Worse and worse! Vanity, ostentation, folly! My good friend, you
do not know the value of money.

_Count._ [_Smiles._] I do not know the value of money!

_Aram._ Alas, you do not! Your sister made me believe you were
economical; had I known the truth, I should never have married my
daughter to a spendthrift.

_Count._ So you think me a spendthrift!

_Aram._ I first perceived it by the considerable sum you threw away in
the purchase of a title; which sacrifice to vanity has no beneficial
end.

_Count._ How! Are you not aware the rank I have acquired will impress a
character of respect on myself, your daughter, and our descendants?

_Aram._ Quite the reverse. I would have rather given my daughter to you,
as Signor Anselmo Colombani, a well-known merchant, than to the Count of
Casteldoro, a newly-made nobleman.

_Count._ But, Madame--

_Aram._ Your ancestors have saved what you will scatter.

_Count._ Scatter! I! You are mistaken, Madame. You do not know me.

_Aram._ Oh yes, yes. I saw the manner in which, without any knowledge of
diamonds, or asking the least advice, you were led away by the jeweller.

_Count._ Oh, with respect to the diamonds--

_Aram._ Ah, ay! I know your answer. They are to decorate the Countess of
Casteldoro. And who is the Countess of Casteldoro? My daughter, Signor,
has been well educated, but with no such expectations. Everything has
been done in abundance, that could contribute to convenience, decency,
and information; but nothing to pomp and vanity. The ornaments of my
daughter ever will be modesty, obedience, and that self-respect which
she could not but acquire from such an education.

_Count._ [_A little moved._] But, Madame--

_Aram._ [_Very warmly._] But, Signor--[_softening_]--I ask your
pardon--Perhaps you may think me too warm; but I see you hurried into a
gulf of expense that makes me tremble. My daughter's happiness is
concerned: I give her a hundred thousand crowns in marriage.

_Count._ [_Somewhat haughtily._] Am I not able to settle an equal sum
upon her?

_Aram._ Yes, at present. But wealth will diminish; and especially when
we have the vanity to be profuse, grand, and magnificent.

_Count._ I once more assure you, Madame, you do not know me.

_Aram._ Signor, had you been a different person, I had conceived an
excellent plan. My annual income is five-and-twenty thousand livres: I
might have lived with you and my daughter, and the two families might
have become one; but, at present, Heaven preserve me from taking such a
step!

_Count._ [_Aside._] She will drive me mad!--[_To_ Araminta.] Pray hear
me. [_Whispering and cunningly._] You mistake my character. Few people
indeed understand economy so well as I do, as you will soon be
convinced. I willingly close with your proposal, and--

_Aram._ By no means! You try in vain to persuade me against conviction.
Respecting my daughter--I have promised--we shall see--but for myself it
is different. Not all the gold on earth should induce me to make such an
arrangement, with a man who does not know the use of money, but lets it
slip through his fingers faster than flour through a sieve. [_Exit._

_Count._ This is admirable! I never imagined I should pass for a
prodigal. [_Exit._

END OF THE SECOND ACT.




ACT III.


SCENE I.--_The_ Count _and_ Frontino.

_Count._ Frontino.

_Front._ Signor?

_Count._ Go and inquire how Eleonora is.

_Front._ One of your guests is without, and desires to speak with you.

_Count._ Who is he?

_Front._ The young gentleman who lately read you a comedy written by
himself.

_Count._ Oh! Signor Giacinto. Bid him enter.

_Front._ Please to come in, Signor. [_Exit._


SCENE II.--_Enter_ Giacinto.

_Count._ Good morning, Signor Giacinto. I am very sorry that the
messenger, sent by me, did not find you at home; he came to inform you
that an accident has caused me to put off the dinner, but that I hoped
to see you at supper.

_Giac._ It is just the same to me, Signor. Meanwhile, permit me the
honour to--

_Count._ I hope to see you without fail this evening.

_Giac._ I am infinitely obliged to you; but, having now the good fortune
to find you alone, and at leisure, I wish to lay before you certain
alterations made in the dedicatory epistle; as I have nothing so much at
heart as your satisfaction.

_Count._ Well, Signor Giacinto, since you are absolutely resolved to
dedicate your comedy to me, I have thought--it would be best to inform
you--of certain particulars respecting myself. Not from vanity--oh no!
Heaven preserve me from that!--but solely to give an opportunity to your
eloquence, and lustre to your work.

_Giac._ You see, Signor, I have made a good use of the materials which
you have so kindly furnished; but I have done something more.

_Count._ Have you mentioned my pictures?

_Giac._ Oh yes.

_Count._ And my library?

_Giac._ Certainly.

_Count._ Including the books which I told you I intend to purchase?

_Giac._ But--Signor--a catalogue of books in a dedication--

_Count._ Where is the difficulty? You may say, in a note at the bottom
of the page, the Count of Casteldoro possesses a superb library, of not
less than ten thousand volumes. A man of wit, like you, knows how to
take advantage of everything. The supper of this evening, for example,
may furnish some new ideas--something animated, witty, poetical.

_Giac._ That may be possible; but I have been employed on a subject more
essential: I have written your genealogy.

_Count._ [_Coldly._] My genealogy? No, no, friend. I have no taste for
that science. You might, I grant, say things that should happen to do me
honour; but I am an enemy to vanity, and would prefer reticence,
especially on the question of genealogy.

_Giac._ As you please; but I have made discoveries that have cost me
much time and study, of which I thought you might wish to be informed.

_Count._ [_With curiosity._] Discoveries that relate to me?

_Giac._ That relate to you, Signor.

_Count._ My dear Signor Giacinto, let me hear.

_Giac._ Your true family name is not Colombani.

_Count._ I grant it may have been changed.

_Giac._ Do me the favour to listen. The great Columbus, who discovered
America, and who was ennobled by the king of Spain, had two brothers,
and various relations. Now, in looking through authors to discover
annotations for my Life of Petrarch, I found that one of the relations
of Christopher Columbus went from Genoa, his native place, to the city
of Avignon, in France. By corruption of the termination, I find the name
of Colombo or Columbus, has been changed to Colombani; and I
demonstrate, beyond all doubt, that you are a descendant of that
ancient, illustrious family.

_Count._ [_Much pleased._] You have demonstrated it?

_Giac._ Here are my proofs. [_Presenting papers._]

_Count._ [_Receiving them._] From the little I can now recollect, I
believe you are right. Ay, ay; it might be. I do not love ostentation,
as you perceive, but I shall be highly pleased if your discovery can do
yourself honour; I therefore have not the courage to forbid the
publication. Have you presented your comedy to the comedians?

_Giac._ Yes, Signor.

_Count._ And they certainly received it with approbation?

_Giac._ On the contrary, Signor, it has been peremptorily refused.

_Count._ Refused!

_Giac._ You have heard it read: does it deserve such a reward?

_Count._ If the comedy be good, why is it refused? Their interest should
oblige them to accept it, with thanks.

_Giac._ What can be expected from such ignorant judges? But I will have
my revenge! It shall be printed! The public shall decide!

_Count._ Bravo! You are right; have it printed. It might not be greatly
successful on the stage, but in the closet it will delight. Your sale
will be prodigious.

_Giac._ Since you approve and encourage me, Signor, would you but have
the goodness to pass your word for the expense of printing, and--

_Count._ [_With a determined tone._] There is no need of that. Apply to
a good bookseller; let him have his profits, and he will answer for the
whole.

_Giac._ To speak the truth, Signor, I have in vain applied to more than
one. At last, a bookseller has agreed that, if the Count of Casteldoro
will make himself responsible, he will undertake to publish it on my
account.

_Count._ How! Have you mentioned my name?

_Giac._ I could not avoid it.

_Count._ You have done very ill. Should it be known that I take an
interest in the comedy, it would be said I did so because of the
dedication; and I should then appear ridiculous. Drop all thoughts of
the press at present; a more favourable opportunity may occur.

_Giac._ But, Signor--


SCENE III.--_Enter_ Frontino.

_Count._ Well, Frontino, what answer?

_Front._ The young lady is rather better, Signor.

_Count._ Rather better! But is she well enough to--I will go and inquire
myself.--[_To_ Giacinto.] You see, Signor, a young lady is ill in my
house, and the supper must be deferred. Another time. [_Going._]

_Giac._ Then if the manuscript be useless, Signor--

_Count._ True; it shall be returned. [_Going._]

_Giac._ I beg you to recollect the time and trouble it has cost me.

_Count._ [_Returning the manuscript._] Very right! You are fond of your
own works: I am glad they give you satisfaction, and cannot but thank
you for any labour taken on my account. Whenever I can serve you, pray
command me.

_Giac._ Infinitely obliged to the generosity of Signor Count
Casteldoro.--[_Aside._] What ingratitude! Sordid fellow! He shall pay
for this, or I am mistaken. [_Exit._

_Count._ One guest the less. But I must inquire after Eleonora.
[_Going._]

_Fior._ [_Without._] Ho, there! Is nobody to be found?

_Front._ This is Fiorillo, the servant of the Marquis.


SCENE IV.--_Enter_ Fiorillo, _in a travelling dress._

_Fior._ [_Bows._] Signor Count, my master, the Marquis del Bosco, is
coming. I rode before, as you perceive, to inform you that his carriage
will soon arrive.

_Count._ [_Coldly._] Arrive! What, here? And in his coach? Does he come
to make any stay?

_Fior._ No, Signor. To-morrow morning he must be gone to Versailles; for
he has affairs at court.

_Count._ [_Aside._] I am glad of it!--[_Aloud, pompously._] I hope the
Marquis will do me the honour to remain with me to-night, in company
with his son, the Chevalier. With respect to the Marchioness--I'll speak
to my sister, and hope she may also be accommodated, as becomes her
rank.

_Fior._ The Marchioness del Bosco does not come with her father; she is
with the Countess d'Orimon, her aunt, and is to remain at her house.

_Count._ [_Aside._] So much the better.--[_Aloud._] That is unfortunate.
I hope, however, I shall have the pleasure of seeing her. [_Exit._


SCENE V.--Frontino _and_ Fiorillo.

_Fior._ Your master, like your kitchen, smells well!

_Front._ We are to have a magnificent supper to-night; no less than
thirty guests.

_Fior._ Indeed! Your master is superb. A rare service! Much to eat, and
little to do! Then, as to wages, you will make your fortune, Frontino!

_Front._ Fortune! I can't say--perhaps!

_Fior._ You have been long with this master.

_Front._ Very true; I have an attachment to him.

_Fior._ And so have I to mine, but without the hope of saving a farthing
in his service. If it were not for the profits of the card-tables, I
should certainly leave him.

_Front._ Then you have much play?

_Fior._ A great deal.

_Front._ And no less profit?

_Fior._ Hum--tolerable; but not equal to you.

_Front._ I! Shall I speak plain to a fellow-servant? I have little
wages, and no tips.

_Fior._ Then you are foolish, Frontino. In Paris, so clever a fellow as
yourself may find a hundred services, in which he might profit in a
hundred different ways.

_Front._ Do you know any _one_?

_Fior._ Certainly; but you are attached to your master?

_Front._ To part with him would not break my heart.

_Fior._ If he pays so ill, he does not like you.

_Front._ That's a mistake; I am his prime minister and favourite.

_Fior._ What do you mean? Were he miserly, so be it; but a generous--

_Front._ Generous! You little know my master.

_Fior._ How so? A supper for thirty guests--

_Front._ Ah, did you know what it will cost me!

_Fior._ You! Cost you!

_Front._ Me. Grumbled at, cross-questioned, put to the torture, almost
afraid of my life, when I give in my bill. I tremble but to think of it!

_Fior._ So, so! Very different with us; our master is easily satisfied,
and always gay and good-humoured. He has an odd manner of speaking,
indeed, and never tells you more than half what he means. He has
favourite words, which, right or wrong, he always uses. Everybody laughs
at _him_, and he laughs at himself.

_Front._ I wish I had such a master!

_Fior._ The worst of it is, he is poor, and seldom has any money.

_Front._ Yet you say he plays?

_Fior._ Very true; he always finds money for that. I hear a coach.

_Front._ Which way does he--

_Fior._ [_At the window._] Be quiet! Yes, they are here.

_Front._ I want to hear more.

_Fior._ Run and tell your master.

_Front._ [_Aside._] I shall hear it all; he can't hold his tongue.
[_Exit._

_Fior._ Frontino is a good fellow, but he talks too much; that's his
fault.


SCENE VI.--_Enter the_ Marquis.

_Marq._ Where is he? Where is the Count?

_Fior._ His servant is gone to tell him you are here.

_Marq._ Go, go; see--Good, good, excellent!--His servant?

_Fior._ Will soon be back.

_Marq._ Meanwhile--My horses--Nothing to eat--Poor devils--They have
done--Good, good, excellent! You might go and see--

_Fior._ Yes, at once.--[_Aside and going._] I defy all the servants in
the world to understand him as I do. [_Exit._


SCENE VII.--_Enter the_ Chevalier.

_Chev._ My dear father! How can I thank you for all your kindness?

_Marq._ Say no more--father to be sure--But with you, in truth--You are
strange sometimes.

_Chev._ Most true! Had you not discovered my passion, I scarcely should
have dared to own it.

_Marq._ Keen eyes--Why not, dear boy? Why not? and then I know that
Eleonora--Do you know her mother?

_Chev._ I am slightly acquainted with her, but not enough to speak on
such a subject.

_Marq._ A lady that--Are you at least sure of the daughter?

_Chev._ Perfectly. I have met her at her cousins, and--we have
corresponded.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent! We shall want--The Count is my friend.

_Chev._ And I am acquainted with his sister, Madame Dorimene. I will beg
her to entreat for me. Here comes the Count.


SCENE VIII.--_Enter the_ Count.

_Count._ Pardon me, Marquis, but--

_Marq._ Ah, Count! Good day--Good day--Your health--Mine--you
see--splendidly well, at your service.

_Count._ Still the same! Always courteous!

_Marq._ Oh, I ... Good, good; excellent!

_Count._ And you, Chevalier?

_Chev._ Always your humble servant.

_Count._ Is the Marchioness with you?

_Marq._ My daughter? She has come with--You know her aunt?

_Count._ Yes, I have the pleasure of knowing her, and will call and pay
the ladies my respects--I hope to have the honour of their company at
supper.

_Marq._ Always obliging--Good, good, excellent!--Ought to apologise--Come
suddenly--No ceremony, I beg.

_Count._ None on earth. I shall only give you my ordinary supper.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent! Family meals--friendly.

_Count._ Your apartments are here, on the right. They tell me you go to
Versailles to-morrow.

_Marq._ Yes--because--

_Count._ I am sorry to lose you so soon: but, as I was saying, these
apartments shall be yours.

_Chev._ Permit me, Signor Count, to pay my respects to your sister.

_Count._ You will do me an honour, and give her pleasure.

_Chev._ [_To his father._] Have I your leave, sir?

_Marq._ Certainly.--[_Aside._] Poor fellow! He is--but when I was like
him--yes, I did as he does.

_Count._ We may all go together, if you please.

_Marq._ Ha!--[_Aside._] No; must not spoil sport.--[_Aloud._] Go by
himself.

_Chev._ [_Going._] I know my way.

_Count._ You will meet a young lady there, with whom perhaps you are
acquainted.

_Chev._ [_Eager to go._] Indeed? So much the better!

_Count._ I have something to tell you concerning her, which perhaps you
do not know--

_Chev._ [_Aside._] Too well! I am on the rack!

_Count._ But which you will be glad to hear.

_Chev._ [_Aside._] Heavens! Perhaps Eleonora may have discovered our
passion to her mother--I rush to see. [_Exit._


SCENE IX.--Count _and the_ Marquis.

_Marq._ [_Looking round._] Now we are alone--Have you time?

_Count._ I am at your disposal.

_Marq._ You are my friend.

_Count._ The title does me honour.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ [_Aside._] He is sometimes very ridiculous.

_Marq._ I should like to beg you--but--a friend, unceremoniously,
freely.

_Count._ [_Aside._] I bet he wants to borrow money.

_Marq._ You know my family--

_Count._ Perfectly.

_Marq._ I have two children, and must think--a daughter too--Good, good,
excellent!--The Chevalier is at an age--you understand me?

_Count._ I believe I do. You are seriously thinking of establishing your
family, which is highly commendable. And, talking of establishments, I
think it but right in me to inform you of my approaching marriage.

_Marq._ Oh, oh!--that way inclined--you too--Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ I am this day to sign the contract, and think myself fortunate
that you, Signor Marquis, will be present, and--

_Marq._ Very happy--but, at the same time, if you would be so kind--

_Count._ You well know, Signor Marquis, the various expenses of these
occasions; they are endless. To own the truth, I find my pocket empty.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ Good! I find it exceedingly ill.

_Marq._ Listen--You are the friend of Madame Araminta.

_Count._ True; and she, for example, is remarkably rich; she might be of
service to your house.

_Marq._ Precisely so--my very thought--would you but speak to her, but
without--What is her daughter's name?

_Count._ Eleonora.

_Marq._ True--bad memory--Eleonora.

_Count._ [_Aside._] If I had not a great deal of penetration, I could
never guess what he means.--[_Aloud._] I will speak privately to Madame
Araminta.

_Marq._ Ay, but--in a particular manner--so that--you understand me?

_Count._ I will speak with all possible caution, and hope she will
comply--provided she has good security.

_Marq._ By Jove! If she gives me--I have not--I am not--but--my
estates--

_Count._ What sum do you wish?

_Marq._ I heard that--ay--a hundred thousand crowns--quite
satisfied!--would not wish for more!

_Count._ [_Aside._] A hundred thousand crowns! the loan is too great!
She will scarcely consent to that.

_Marq._ When will you speak? Because when I have a project--no sooner
said than done--it is in my nature.

_Count._ I will inform her to-day.

_Marq._ And you hope she--Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ I think Madame Araminta will comply, if possible; first out of
regard to yourself, and next to me, who am on the point of becoming her
son-in-law.

_Marq._ Ha!--what?--you?--

_Count._ I am to marry her daughter.

_Marq._ Marry!--when?--that true?--that possible?

_Count._ Why so excessively surprised, Signor Marquis? Do you see any
reason to the contrary?

_Marq._ I--no--[_Aside._] My son!--Fine affair!--Stupid folly!

_Count._ Madame Araminta intends indeed to give a hundred thousand
crowns with her daughter, but do you think she will therefore not have
so large a sum to lend you?

_Marq._ Lend me!--Zounds!--Lend me!


SCENE X.

_The_ Chevalier, _making signs of disappointment and silence to the_
Marquis, _enters and goes off without being seen by the_ Count.

_Count._ But, if you please, I will speak to her.

_Marq._ [_To the_ Chevalier.] Yes, yes, I understand.

_Count._ [_Supposing the answer was to himself._] And will tell her--

_Marq._ By no means--don't think--no, no.

_Count._ Yes and no! I do not understand you, Signor.

_Marq._ Lend me!--to me?--I am--it is true--but then I am not--Good,
good, excellent!--I am not--

_Count._ If you will excuse me, I have business. Those are your
apartments.--[_Aside._] I never met such a ridiculous man. [_Exit._

_Marq._ The devil take him--he doesn't know what he is talking of.
[_Exit._

END OF THE THIRD ACT.




ACT IV.


SCENE I.--_The_ Chevalier _and_ Fiorillo.

_Chev._ While my father rests, I will visit my sister; tell him this,
when he wakes.

_Fior._ Yes, Signor.

_Chev._ Do you know whether the Count is at home?

_Fior._ Yes; I saw him just now going to speak with Madame Dorimene.

_Chev._ [_Aside._] Surely he is not a rival to be feared. At least, I am
secure of the heart of Eleonora, and will not yet despair of gaining her
mother. [_Exit._

_Fior._ So, young gentleman! I see how it is with you. I pretty well
guess your intentions, and how they are thwarted. Ay, ay, I shall have
enough to satisfy the curiosity of Frontino. [_Sits down near the door
of his master's rooms._]


SCENE II.--_Enter_ Count.

_Count._ [_Not seeing_ Fiorillo.] I am tired, bored! Nothing but
indifference; and, instead of perfect satisfaction, something like
contempt. A man like me, who had but to choose! so advantageous a
marriage! [_Seeing_ Fiorillo.] Is the Marquis at home?

_Fior._ Yes, Signor; being rather fatigued with travelling, he is taking
a nap.

_Count._ [_Aside._] How amiable is his daughter! How charming! I felt
affected and confused at the courtesy and kindness with which she and
her aunt received me. The visit made me cheerful, happy, and reconciled
to myself. What difference between the politeness of these ladies and
the common and trivial manner of Araminta and her daughter; who neither
understand civility nor good breeding. Ah! were the young Marchioness
but as rich as she is handsome and engaging--who knows? I have a
thought--should her father but be reasonable and easy to manage--Here
he comes.


SCENE III.--_Enter the_ Marquis.

_Marq._ [_Rubbing his eyes and calling._] Fiorillo!

_Fior._ Signor?

_Marq._ My son?

_Fior._ He is gone out.

_Marq._ Why did not he--where is he gone?

_Fior._ To visit the Marchioness, his sister.

_Marq._ I too wish--my coach!

_Fior._ The horses, Signor--

_Marq._ [_Angry._] Good, good, excellent! My coach!

_Fior._ I will go and see. [_Exit._


SCENE IV.--_The_ Count _and the_ Marquis.

_Count._ Do you wish to go out, Signor Marquis?

_Marq._ See my daughter--much to say--tell her--Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ I have just had that honour. It was long since I had seen her.
She fully answers the charming promise of her childhood; her sweetness
has increased with her years, and the progress of her talents is
wonderful. Permit me to congratulate you on possessing such a treasure.

_Marq._ Oh, Count--ay, ay; a good girl. She has not, let us confess
it--but--character, manners--good, good, excellent!

_Count._ With such talents, so much merit, and blooming eighteen, you
should think of a husband for her.

_Marq._ No doubt. For my part, I--_apropos_: what has just passed--what
did you mean to say when--Did you not say _lend me_?

_Count._ It appears to me that you suddenly changed your opinion.

_Marq._ I tell you, no--it was not so. You have not--And yet I spoke
plainly.

_Count._ In any case, Signor Marquis, I shall be happy to serve you. I
have not spoken to Madame Araminta; for, to own the truth, I am not
quite pleased with her daughter. I begin to feel a certain dislike.

_Marq._ Oh, oh!--That means--Well, why not?

_Count._ I have done everything to gain their esteem and friendship. A
house so richly furnished, carriages and horses the most rare, diamonds
worth a hundred thousand livres--

_Marq._ Is it possible?

_Count._ 'Tis true; they were shown. Madame Araminta was amazed.

_Marq._ Grand!--Superb!--Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ Injustice and ingratitude have been my reward.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent!

_Count._ [_Aside._] Curse the phrase!

_Marq._ [_Aside._] In that case--if Eleonora--if my son--[_Aloud._] If
so, Signor Count--candour--frankly and freely tell them--You understand
me? Cut matters short.

_Count._ Had I paid these attentions to a lady of rank and merit, I
should have acted much more wisely.

_Marq._ Ay, ay--if--certainly.

_Count._ Do you think a man of rank and fashion, a man like yourself for
example, would refuse me the hand of his daughter?

_Marq._ On the contrary. A person of worth--a person that--oh, what do
you mean? Certainly not.

_Count._ Signor Marquis, you encourage me.

_Marq._ Oh, I--If so--I'll go this moment!

_Count._ Where, signor?

_Marq._ To my daughter. [_Calls._] Fiorillo!

_Count._ And may I hope?

_Marq._ [_Calls louder._] Fiorillo!


SCENE V.--_Enter_ Fiorillo

_Marq._ My coach.

_Fior._ The coachman is not here, Signor.

_Marq._ How so? [_To the_ Count.] Can you lend me--? Soon return.

_Count._ It is not a hundred yards; you can easily walk.

_Marq._ Walk!--Hundred yards!--Enough--Adieu--Soon be back. [_Going._]
Diamonds! A hundred thousand livres! [_Exit with_ Fiorillo.


SCENE VI.--_The_ Count, _then_ Frontino.

_Count._ Courage! The Marquis is enraptured; the daughter's won. All
goes well. But I must not lose sight of--[_Calls._] Frontino! No, no;
she must not get possession of the jewels. Frontino! I say!

_Front._ [_Entering._] I was busy in planning the dessert.

_Count._ Go immediately, and tell my sister I beg her to come here; I
have something interesting to communicate. And add, but in a whisper,
that I request she will bring me the jewels which I committed to her
care.

_Front._ But the supper, signor? I must be everywhere, and look to all!

_Count._ True. Is everything prepared?

_Front._ According to your wishes; two essentials excepted.

_Count._ Which are----?

_Front._ Coffee and liqueurs.

_Count._ Liqueurs inflame the blood.

_Front._ But coffee?

_Count._ Blockhead! Coffee at night! It prevents sleep.

_Front._ Surely, Signor!--Not give coffee! Forfeit your character as a
liberal host, for such a trifling expense?

_Count._ Go, Mr. Liberality; do what I bid you.

_Front._ [_Aside._] No coffee! I would rather pay for it out of my own
pocket. Yet no; he would even swear I had filched the money from other
articles. [_Exit._


SCENE VII.--Count _alone_.

_Count._ Dreadful! Luxury is come to such a height! Thank Heaven, I have
not spent one farthing from whim or caprice. I always pay money with
prudence and circumspection. I do not yet know the character of the
Marchioness; but, being once the Countess of Casteldoro, I will teach
her my method; which is to esteem myself, and to despise and laugh at
other people.


SCENE VIII.--_Enter_ Dorimene.

_Dor._ I am told you want me, brother.

_Count._ Pardon this liberty. Where are the diamonds?

_Dor._ Here. Do you want them back?

_Count._ [_Taking them._] Yes, yes; you shall know why.

_Dor._ You need not take the trouble to tell me, for it is not possible
to persuade Eleonora to accept them.

_Count._ So much the worse for her; she will repent. I have a secret to
tell you.

_Dor._ You know how greatly I am interested in your happiness.

_Count._ I have seen the Marchioness del Bosco, and have great reason to
believe that, whenever I please, I may obtain her hand.

_Dor._ Indeed! What will the Marquis say?

_Count._ Oh, he will say, "Good, good, excellent!" I am sure of him.

_Dor._ You know the disorder of his affairs. Will you marry her without
a portion?

_Count._ Oh, no. Thank Heaven, I have not lost my wits.

_Dor._ What will you do, then?

_Count._ Listen and learn. First, let me tell you, I am neither blind
nor foolish. I perceive the affections of Eleonora are given to another,
and I do not think I am greatly mistaken when I suppose the Chevalier
her favourite. Omitting to notice the impertinence of father and son, in
visiting me under the mask of friendship, I must tell you it may
contribute to aid my project, which is this. Let you and me persuade
Madame Araminta to give her daughter, with a hundred thousand crowns, to
the Chevalier, on condition that his father receive the money, and that
he redeem all his mortgages. I will request the Marchioness, his
daughter, from him; with these said lands, and, by this means, the son
and daughter will both be gratified, and the Marquis will not disburse a
guinea. What say you, sister; is not the plan a good one?

_Dor._ Well imagined, but difficult to execute.

_Count._ Do not fear; all will be right. The Marquis is gone purposely
in search of his daughter. I will join them, and I have no doubt all
will be concluded this very day. These jewels--may be of--Sister, you
shall see wonders. [_Exit._

_Dor._ What does he mean? But, if every one be made happy, I shall be
the same.


SCENE IX.--_Enter_ Eleonora.

_Eleon._ [_At the door, timidly._] Are you alone, Signora?

_Dor._ I am, my dear; come in.

_Eleon._ My mother is busy, writing--

_Dor._ Have you anything to tell me?

_Eleon._ Forgive my curiosity; have you taken away the jewels.

_Dor._ Yes; the Count asked for them. Are you vexed?

_Eleon._ On the contrary, delighted.

_Dor._ Then you are averse to diamonds?

_Eleon._ Not at all; but--You know my secret.

_Dor._ There are things in expectation, my dear--

_Eleon._ What, what? Ease my heart, if possible.

_Dor._ My brother feels you do not love him.

_Eleon._ That I can easily believe.

_Dor._ And suspects the Chevalier.

_Eleon._ Heavens! He will tell my mother!

_Dor._ Your mother, my dear, must and ought to know it; and you ought to
conquer your inclinations.

_Eleon._ Conquer! Oh, it is not possible!

_Dor._ I love you, as you know, but cannot--

_Eleon._ [_Suddenly, and looking off._] Ha! I must go.

_Dor._ What is the matter?

_Eleon._ [_Going._] Don't you see the Chevalier?

_Dor._ Yes, yes; you are right. Begone!

_Eleon._ [_Aside, and slowly going._] I die to stay.


SCENE X.--_Enter the_ Chevalier.

_Chev._ Signora--[_Discovering_ Eleonora.] Heavens! does Eleonora see
me, and yet go? [_His eyes fixed on_ Eleonora.]

_Dor._ Your pleasure, Signor? [_Turns and sees_ Eleonora _not gone._]
Young lady, your mother expects you.

_Eleon._ [_Timidly._] Pardon me, I would speak one word.

_Dor._ Well, speak. Make haste!

_Eleon._ [_Gradually approaching._] The jewels will not be returned?

_Dor._ I do not fear the return of the jewels.

_Chev._ Ladies, if I incommode you, I'll be gone.

_Dor._ [_A little angry._] As you please, Signor.

_Chev._ [_Going slowly aside._] This treatment is severe.

_Dor._ [_Ironically._] Well, Mademoiselle, have you anything more to
say?

_Eleon._ No, Signora; but--What offence has the Chevalier committed?

_Dor._ Really, my dear, you make me smile.

_Eleon._ I--I cannot smile.

_Chev._ [_Returning after looking into his fathers apartment._] My
father is not there.

_Dor._ You will find him at your aunt's.

_Chev._ I just came from there; my aunt and sister are gone out.

_Dor._ [_More angry._] Young lady!

_Eleon._ [_Mortified and curtseying; her eyes fixed on the_ Chevalier.]
Pardon me.

_Dor._ [_Ironically._] Excellent, upon my word!


SCENE XI.--_Enter_ Araminta.

_Aram._ [_Surprised, aside._] Ah, ha!--[_Aloud._] The milliner is
waiting, daughter: go and look at what she has brought.
[_Exit_ Eleonora, _mortified._

_Aram._ Pray stay, Chevalier: I would speak with you.

_Dor._ Ay, pray do; it is right I should justify myself before you. I
see, Madame, that you know something of what is going on; but I assure
you I am no party concerned, and that, although this meeting was
accidental, I am sorry it should have occurred.

_Aram._ [_Kindly taking her hand._] I know you, Madame.

_Chev._ I am sorry, ladies, if my presence--

_Aram._ [_Softly to_ Dorimene.] Be so kind as to follow my daughter.
Poor child! I vex her sometimes, but I love her dearly! Try to console
her.

_Dor._ Most willingly, madam. [_Exit._


SCENE XII.--Araminta _and the_ Chevalier.

_Chev._ I did not think, Signora, that my conduct--

_Aram._ Let us speak plainly, Signor. What are your pretensions to my
daughter?

_Chev._ Oh, could I but hope to merit her hand--

_Aram._ Nothing could be desired better than you: your birth, character,
and conduct are all in your favour: and I should think it an honour to
call you my son. Permit me only to say that the affairs of your
family--

_Chev._ I own it. My father is the best of men, but has been greatly
misled.

_Aram._ Then, being sensible of this truth, you, better than any person,
should be aware of the confusion and distress which might be brought on
a young woman, of a good family, and with no contemptible fortune. Would
you willingly expose this fortune to the evident danger of being ill
managed, and soon dissipated?

_Chev._ Hear me but a moment; I will speak frankly. I have spent some
years in the army, which I have been obliged to quit, because I could
not properly support my birth and military rank. Returning home, I have
lived privately, without complaint, and concealing my situation. A
family friend, interesting himself in my behalf, suggested that a proper
marriage might enable me to appear again at my post, and thus excited me
to mix with the world, and declare my purpose. I heard of you, Madame,
of your daughter's merit, and of the fortune which she was to have. I
saw her, and was so enraptured by her charms and mental qualities, that
every interested motive instantly ceased, and love alone took possession
of my heart. I then, indeed, wished I were rich, and deeply felt the
distress of my family. My friends saw my distress, pitied me, would not
forsake me, spoke of your goodness, and encouraged me respectfully to
declare myself and my hopes. I listened to their advice, or rather to
love; and hoped that gratitude and respect would, some time, acquire for
me a daughter's love, and a kind mother's consent.

_Aram._ I approve your candour; yet, do not hope I can give you my
daughter, though I am greatly affected by your situation, and disposed
to favour you, as far as prudence will permit.

_Chev._ Your goodness consoles me; but, O heavens! do you refuse me that
precious gift, your daughter?

_Aram._ You must not hope to have her, Signor. It may be ten years
before you are in a state to marry. Live in freedom, and leave my
daughter to her destiny. If you approve it, thus much I offer. I will
lend you the sum necessary to purchase military rank, and even a
regiment; depending for repayment upon circumstances, and your word of
honour.

_Chev._ I may die, Madame.

_Aram._ And I may lose my money; but not the recollection of having done
justice to merit, and a worthy gentleman.

_Chev._ Noble generosity! Yet--your daughter--

_Aram._ I speak absolutely--you must not think of her.

_Chev._ Surely it is possible that love and constancy--

_Aram._ Let us see, what sum will you want? You have friends?

_Chev._ A few.

_Aram._ I may increase the number. Let us retire where we can speak more
freely.

_Chev._ Wherever you please. [_Calls._] Fiorillo!

_Aram._ Poor youth! The victim of his father's imbecility. [_Exit._


SCENE XIII.--_Enter_ Fiorillo.

_Chev._ Listen, Fiorillo! Tell my father--Here he comes. I have not time
to speak to him. Say I am with Madame Dorimene. [_Exit._

_Fior._ With the ladies! He is unusually gay. Perhaps his affairs have
taken a lucky turn.


SCENE XIV.--_Enter the_ Marquis.

_Marq._ Well, the coachman--A rascal!--Returned yet?

_Fior._ The coachman is not to blame, Signor.

_Marq._ How so? I am--Good, good, excellent!--Had they gone out?

_Fior._ Who, Signor?

_Marq._ My daughter, and--What did the dog say?--Yes, at once--To the
devil!

_Fior._ You should not be angry, Signor. I met him loaded like a porter:
his horses were hungry and restive, he went to buy corn.

_Marq._ How? Very fine--The Count--The stables--

_Fior._ Ah, yes, none can be finer; but without a single oat, nor dares
the coachman buy any, without an express order from his master. Oh, the
miser!

_Marq._ Who? Who? Good, good, excellent! A miser!

_Fior._ There is not such another on earth.

_Marq._ Who, I say? Blockhead! Fool! The Count--a man!--Go, go,
numskull!

_Fior._ Everybody I have spoken with, in the house and out of the house,
servants, tradesmen, or neighbours, all say the same. Nay, Frontino, his
chief favourite, can stay with him no longer.

_Marq._ How! Could it be?--He refused me his coach?

_Fior._ From avarice. He walks, for fear of tiring his horses.

_Marq._ But--a hundred thousand livres in diamonds!

_Fior._ Do you mean the jewels he has showed to his bride--

_Marq._ Well?

_Fior._ And which he will never pay for. Frontino told me they were not
bought, but borrowed.

_Marq._ Borrowed! Damn! Good, good, excellent!--an underhand
miser--hypocrite! Damn, damn! A fellow--odious--despicable--My
daughter?--Oaf! Sup with him?--Great feast--No oats for the horses--Go
and see the poor beasts.

_Fior._ Not that way, Signor. The stables are in the other court.

_Marq._ Double court--No corn--Great palace--No oats for his horses!
[_Exeunt._




ACT V.


SCENE I.--_The_ Count _and_ Frontino.

_Count._ Make haste! Place and light those candles, that there may be a
splendid illumination!

_Front._ But I want help, Signor.

_Count._ Pshaw! Thy activity and talents, Frontino, are quite sufficient.

_Front._ [_Aside._] So much for compliments.

_Count._ I am vexed at again not finding the Marchioness and her aunt at
home. Surely they will come to supper. See how the candles waste; shut
the doors and windows.

_Front._ The evening is so warm!

_Count._ No matter; do as I bid you.

_Front._ [_Aside._] He has odd modes of saving.

_Count._ I feel myself quite animated. The supper grand! The
illumination grand! The--Some of my guests, and those not mean ones,
will acknowledge and do justice to my dessert. I grant the expense is
great; but expense, if it is properly incurred, can be borne once in a
while.--[_To_ Frontino.] Should any one ask for me, I am here with the
Marquis.--[_To himself._] Let me but finish affairs with him, and the
difficulty with his daughter will be but little.


SCENE II.--Frontino, _and then_ Fiorillo.

_Front._ [_Calls._] Fiorillo!

_Fior._ [_Entering._] Here am I. What do you want?

_Front._ [_Giving him a light._] Help me to light the candles.

_Fior._ Willingly. [_Both lighting and chatting at the same time._]

_Front._ Gently! gently! Mind how you turn that chandelier; the candles
are only short bits fastened on coloured sticks.

_Fior._ Do not fear. I hope we shall sup together?

_Front._ Should anything be left. The dishes are large; the contents
small.

_Fior._ We shall have a bottle at least?

_Front._ Zounds! if we have, I must pay for it.

_Fior._ Among so many, how can one be missed?

_Front._ I will tell you. The Count has a certain number of coloured
pellets in his pocket. He draws them out one by one as the bottles are
emptied.

_Fior._ Oh, the devil!

_Front._ [_Seeing the_ Count _return._] Hush!


SCENE III.--_Enter the_ Count.

_Count._ [_Angry and aside._] Could such a thing be expected? A man of
my rank and riches? Rudeness so great! Contempt so visible! Tell me his
daughter is not for me! Will not come to supper, and then to sneer and
laugh at me! He too!--so weak and foolish! Talk of nothing but oats; a
reiteration of oats, oats!--[_To_ Fiorillo _haughtily._] Your master
wants you. Go!

_Fior._ I have had the honour of helping my comrade, Signor.

_Count._ Have the complaisance now to help yourself, and be gone.
[_Exit_ Fiorillo.


SCENE IV.--_The_ Count _and_ Frontino.

_Front._ [_Aside._] We shall have bad weather; there is something new in
the wind.

_Count._ [_To himself._] What a blockhead was I! Absurd design! Is not
money worth more than ruined antiquity? Oh yes! I will marry the
captious beauty; marry her in despite of her and of myself. No more
attentions; no more respectfulness; no more complaisance for any
one.--[_To_ Frontino.] Put out the lights.

_Front._ Put them out, Signor?

_Count._ Do as you are bid! Make haste!

_Front._ Very pretty! [_Begins to extinguish._]

_Count._ [_Aside._] Deceive me! Laugh at me! Once more for Madame
Araminta.--[_To_ Frontino.] Will you never have done? [_Puts out some
candles with his hat._]

_Front._ But the supper? Everything ready.

_Count._ How many dishes?

_Front._ I have brought out all the silver, as you ordered; and large
and small, though most of the last, there will be forty.

_Count._ [_Putting out a candle._] They will last forty days.

_Front._ But, Signor--

_Count._ Silence babbler! [_Puts out the last, and they are in the
dark._]

_Front._ So, here we are, and here we may stay.

_Count._ Why did you put out the last candle?

_Front._ I do not think it was I, Signor.

_Count._ Go for a light.

_Front._ Nay, but how to find the door.

_Count._ Stop! stop! I hear somebody.


SCENE V.--_The stage dark. Enter_ Fiorillo.

_Fior._ What can this mean? All in total darkness! Perhaps there will be
no supper?

_Front._ [_Aside to the_ Count.] I think it is Fiorillo.

_Count._ [_Softly, and holding_ Frontino _by the arm._] Stay where you
are, and speak as if I were gone.--[_Aside._] I may make some discovery.

_Fior._ [_Stumbling on_ Frontino.] Who is there?

_Front._ 'Tis I.

_Fior._ Frontino! Why have you put out the lights?

_Front._ Because--because it was too early.

_Fior._ 'Sblood! Your master is a miser indeed.

_Front._ How? Jackanapes! My master a miser!

_Fior._ Why, you told me so yourself.

_Count._ Ah, rascal! [_Shaking_ Frontino.]

_Front._ Oh, the liar! I capable of--

_Fior._ Hold your tongue, and listen patiently. I have thought of a way
by which you may crib a bottle of wine, in spite of the pellets.

_Front._ Vile cheat! What are you talking about?

_Fior._ Really, my dear Frontino, you are no longer the same. Change
thus in a minute! You speak as if your master were here.

_Front._ I speak as I have always spoken. I love my master, obey my
master, respect my master, and--and--he's a gentleman.

_Count._ [_Shaking him with great anger._] Scoundrel!

_Fior._ And all you have said of his avarice is false?

_Count._ Villain! [_Shaking_ Frontino _till he falls._]

_Fior._ What now? Where are you? What has fallen?
[_Exit the_ Count, _feeling till he finds the door._


SCENE VI.--Frontino _and_ Fiorillo, _then the_ Count.

_Front._ [_Aside._] The devil take you!--[_Feeling about._] Where are
you, Signor?

_Fior._ Who are you talking to?

_Front._ Signor, where are you?

_Fior._ Hey-day! You have taken a cup already, my friend.

_Front._ Ah! ah! Here he comes. God help my poor back.

_Count._ [_Entering with a candle, speaks softly._] Traitor!
Dog!--[_Aloud._] Hark you, Frontino!

_Front._ [_Afraid._] Ye--ye--yes!

_Count._ [_Aside._] If we were alone!--[_Aloud._] Go and tell Madame
Araminta I wish to speak to her, either in her room or my own.

_Front._ Yes, Signor.--[_Aside._]--I will not trust his looks.--[_To
the_ Count.] Do not think--

_Count._ [_Disdainfully._] Deliver your message.

_Front._ [_Aside._] I see how it is. You must pack off, my friend
Frontino. [_Exit._


SCENE VII.--_The_ Count _and_ Fiorillo.

_Fior._ You have a faithful servant there, Signor.

_Count._ You do not know him, friend. An ungrateful fellow, to whom I
have been kind and generous in vain. A professed liar! I discovered him,
gave him warning; and, to revenge himself, the rascal speaks ill of me.
[_Going with the light he brought._]

_Fior._ Excuse me; this room is dark: permit me to light another candle.

_Count._ Certainly. I can't tell why they were all put out.

_Fior._ Frontino is a good servant, and knows how to manage.

_Count._ [_Aside._] The hound! I would send him to the devil if I could
find a servant for as little wages. [_Exit._


SCENE VIII.--Fiorillo _and the_ Marquis.

_Fior._ If I had not got this light, here I might have stayed.

_Marq._ [_Entering._] I should like to know--? [_To_ Fiorillo.] Did you
not say--? Tell him to come here.

_Fior._ Who, Signor?

_Marq._ My son.

_Fior._ Yes.--[_Aside._] He is not always to be understood.--[_Aloud._]
First suffer me to light a candle.

_Marq._ Another--I love--Good, good, excellent! See clear. [_Lights a
third himself._]

_Fior._ Some one may come to put them out.

_Marq._ Out! Who?

_Fior._ [_Laughing._] The illustrious Count! [_Exit._

_Marq._ True! Without a grain of oats!


SCENE IX.--_Enter_ Araminta.

_Aram._ [_Speaking as she enters._] He is in his room. Marquis, your
obedient--

_Marq._ Humble servant.--All well? All well?

_Aram._ At your service.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent! I wished to--My son will tell you.

_Aram._ Your son, my daughter, and Dorimene, have so stunned and
tormented me that I can hear no more.

_Marq._ If so, Madame--But--you know me--I have not--Very true; but--my
property--my estates--Forest, lordship, seven springs--High lands,
low--Pasture, arable--A barony. Good, good, excellent! Two millions,
Madame!

_Aram._ What matter your millions? My husband made a fortune from
nothing; you, with millions, are ruined! He took care of his own
affairs; I managed the house. But permit me to say, Signor Marquis, in
your family all has been disorder.

_Marq._ The Marchioness, heaven bless her! was a little too fond--Poor
woman! Always lost. For my part--the chase--good hounds--fine
horses--Then--my son--Good, good, excellent! Oh, a brave boy!--Who, some
day or other--our estates--our lands--

_Aram._ Had I the management of them, they would soon free themselves.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent! Take--act--give 'em up--Oh, with all my
heart!

_Aram._ Surely you do not imagine, Signor Marquis, that it becomes me to
be an agent?

_Marq._ No; I did not say that. You are still--I am not old--Understand
me.

_Aram._ You are jesting.

_Marq._ Jest when I--? Good, good, excellent!

_Aram._ I have no intention to marry; and, if I had, it would not be
vain titles, but happiness that I should seek.

_Marq._ Right--if you--no one interfere--mistress of everything--carte
blanche. Good, good, excellent!

_Aram._ Carte blanche?

_Marq._ Without restriction.


SCENE X.--_Enter the_ Chevalier.

_Chev._ My father sent for me.

_Marq._ You see, Madame! only son--good youth.

_Aram._ I know it, and know his merit.

_Chev._ Ah, Madame!--[_To the_ Marquis.] Did you, sir, know the
kindness, the liberality, with which this lady overwhelmed me, how you
would be surprised!

_Marq._ All is concluded? Eleonora--thine? [_Overjoyed._]

_Aram._ Not too fast, Signor Marquis; I have told you how tenderly I
love her, and that I will not risk either her happiness or her fortune.

_Marq._ But--speak, boy--our affairs--Good, good, excellent! Speak the
truth; this lady may--as for me--here I am--my heart, my hand, carte
blanche.

_Chev._ To which, dear father, I willingly subscribe. I leave everything
to your discretion. [_Flying to the side scene._] Approach, dear
Eleonora; conquer your fears; join your prayers to ours, and move the
heart of a mother, who doubts only through delicacy.

_Enter_ Eleonora _and_ Dorimene, _who remains in the background_.

_Eleon._ [_Falling at her mother's feet._] Oh, my mother! you know my
heart, and how religiously I have always obeyed your commands. You would
unite me to a man whom I can never love; virtuous affection has taken
possession of my soul. I ought to have told you, but fear and respect
forbade me; yet my feelings, however ardent, I was determined should be
sacrificed to obedience to that affection which I have ever felt for
you, and that tender attachment in which I have been educated. Ah, do
not force me to a marriage I detest! and which will render me the most
disconsolate and wretched woman on earth.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] Poor child! Did she know my heart!

_Marq._ [_Wiping his eyes._] Now--if--Good, good, excellent!

_Aram._ Be it so on one condition. The carte blanche--

_Marq._ [_Presenting his hand._] Sign it--pray accept--

_Aram._ Your hand?

_Eleon._ My dear mother, your superintending prudence and goodness will
secure our felicity.

_Chev._ Oh yes. Your orders shall be respected; your example the rule
for our conduct; your advice our guide.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] My child! my child!

_Marq._ [_Still tenderly presenting his hand._] Madame!

_Aram._ [_Cheerfully._] Signor Marquis--I am yours.

_Marq._ And I--Good, good, excellent!

_Dor._ [_Coming forward._] Permit me, ladies and gentlemen, to say I
have thus far been silent, being desirous to promote this young lady's
happiness; but I think you will remember my brother ought to be, in some
degree, consulted in this affair.

_Eleon._ Heavens! what say you, Madame?

_Aram._ My daughter should have been his, had he been less of a
spendthrift.

_Marq._ I would have given him mine if he had not been a miser.

_Eleon._ [_Sees the_ Count _coming._] Oh, my mother!

_Marq._ Fear nothing--I'll speak--Yes, I--quite clearly--Good, good,
excellent!


SCENE XI.--_Enter the_ Count, _and afterwards_ Frontino.

_Count._ [_Aside._] She is here; now is the time to oblige her to
determine.--[_To_ Araminta.] I sent a request, Madame--

_Aram._ I was coming, but was stopped by the Marquis.

_Marq._ Yes, Signor Count, I have to inform you--

_Count._ Pardon me, Signor; I have business with this lady.--[_To_
Araminta.] The notary will soon be here, and we must sign the contract.

_Aram._ And do you still persist in claiming my daughter? Have you not
renounced her?

_Count._ No, Signora. My design, of which my sister may have informed
you, was to propose conditions honourable to all parties; but these the
Marquis disapproves.

_Marq._ Hear me speak. You asked me--yes--I would have--why not? But--be
so kind--Good, good, excellent! No anger--a hundred thousand livres,
diamonds, and not a grain of oats!

_Count._ Why do you thus reiterate oats? I cannot understand; can you,
ladies?

_Dor._ [_To the_ Count.] Your coachman, brother, may have refused--

_Count._ [_To the_ Marquis.] How! have your horses not been fed? If
so, am I responsible for my coachman's error? Must I be thought a
miser--I!--[_Aside._] My servants have babbled, and I shall lose my
reputation.

_Front._ [_Entering to the_ Count.] Persons without are asking for you,
signor.

_Count._ [_Aside._] My supper guests perhaps; the moment is favourable
to the support of my honour.--[_Aloud._] Is the notary among them?

_Front._ Yes, Signor.

_Count._ Bid him come in. Show the other persons into the card-room. Let
the house be illuminated and the supper served. [_Exit_ Frontino.

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent!


SCENE.--_The last._

_Enter the_ Notary, _the_ Jeweller, Giacinto, _and others._

_Count._ [_To the_ Notary.] Signor, please to read the contract, that it
may be signed. So, Signor Giacinto, you have discovered that my bride is
better, and that the supper will take place.

_Giac._ No, Signor, I have made no such discovery. But I have discovered
some literary gentlemen, who, since I am not enabled to print my comedy
and your genealogy, will publish the genealogy at their own expense,
with all necessary and some remarkable annotations.

_Count._ [_Enraged._] I understand the insult. [_Dissembling._] Have you
the genealogy in your pocket?

_Giac._ Here it is, Signor.

_Count._ [_Receiving and concealing the MS._] Signor--I have a proper
esteem for talents--they have ever been encouraged and recompensed by
me.--[_Aside._] A mercenary scoundrel!--[_Whispers_ Giacinto.] Accept
these five-and-twenty louis, and let me hear no more.--[_Tears the
paper._] [_Exit_ Giacinto.

_Aram._ [_Aside._] What a man! He would quickly have scattered my
daughter's fortune.

_Count._ [_To the_ Notary.] Once more, the contract.

_Jew._ [_Advancing with a bow._] Signor Count.

_Count._ How now! What do _you_ want?

_Jew._ Permission to speak.

_Count._ [_Softly to the_ Jeweller.] I desired you to come in a week.

_Jew._ 'Tis true. But hearing you are this evening to be affianced,
permit me to observe that, after my jewels have been seen--

_Count._ Ay, ay.--[_Vexed and aside._] The rascal knows what he is
about.--[_Privately returns the jewels and angrily whispers_] Here,
take your diamonds, and trouble me no more. [_Exit_ Jeweller.

_Front._ [_Entering._] The supper is ready; must it be served?

_Count._ Wait till I call you. Once more, the contract; with your leave,
madam, we will read it, that it may be signed.

_Aram._ Signor, while I was a widow the power was my own, but now I am
once more married.

_Count._ Married! Who is your husband, Madame!

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent! Yes, signor, 'tis I.

_Count._ [_Aside._] Here is a blow! Oh, all hopes are gone!--[_Aloud._]
Then Eleonora--

_Aram._ I love my daughter too much to willingly part with her; once
to-day you have refused her hand, which I shall now give to--

_Marq._ Good, good, excellent!--To my son.

_Count._ [_To_ Dorimene _indignantly._] I am derided, sister, disdained.

_Dor._ I warned you, brother, yet you would persist. Be prudent; you are
in the presence of many people; do not risk your reputation.

_Count._ [_Aside._] Very true. Come what will, I must dissemble.
--[_Aloud._] You're happily come, ladies and gentlemen, to witness
the signing of a contract between--the--Chevalier del Bosco and this
young lady.--[_Aside._] My tongue is parched; I have not the power to
proceed.--[_Aloud._] The honour of contributing to this--ceremony--is
mine.--[_Aside._] Oh that the house were on fire!--[_Aloud._] Let us
walk into the library till the supper is ready.

_Aram._ Long live the spendthrift!

_Marq._ And down with the miser!
THE END



Entradas populares de este blog

Antígona Furiosa Griselda Gambaro

Los Cuervos están de luto HUGO ARGÜELLES

Dos mujeres de Javier Daulte