OUR BOOKS

Act 1

ACT ONE


PANTALONE, ORAZIO and FLAVIO: learning from the two brothers how Graziano, their father, an old man, lives for the love of Franceschina, and how he is taking no part in helping them find wives to marry. Pantalone asserts soothingly that it’s been proven better to marry when old than when still in one’s youth. Flavio tells Orazio that he’s learned that they are both rivals for the same girl, and that his father has been keeping him at school so that he can get a degree instead of a wife. At last they ask Pantalone, as a friend of their father, to dissuade him from his silly undertakings with Franceschina, and they leave. Pantalone remains, begins to speak about the love he himself harbors for Franceschina; 

then

GRAZIANO, friend of Pantalone, coming back from lovemaking with Franceschina, and complaining about his sons. Graziano says that as far as he’s concerned his life is his own; and thus it’s all in vain for his sons to complain.


ISABELLA (dressed as a servant) and BURATTINO, have left Genoa to find the Captain in Rome and reproach him for his infidelity: and they have left Genoa to escape a second marriage that Cinthio, her brother, has arranged. All this has caused her to disguise herself as a French lady, pretending to be called Olivetta. They knock at the inn;

then

PEDROLINO, the innkeeper, haggles with Olivetta, who answers back in French and, joking, they enter the inn.

FRANCESCHINA wife of Pedrolino, comes back with a basket full of things on her head;

then

PANTALONE, in love with her, greets her, then speaks of his love. She replies that she can’t love an old man and calls him a pain in the ass. Pantalone begs;

then

PEDROLINO, who has heard everything, yells at Pantalone. He apologizes;

then

BURATTINO stops to hear Pedrolino’s yelling, and doesn’t know that Franceschina is the innkeeper’s wife. Franceschina goes into the house

then

FLAMINIA at the window, calling to her father, talks about a letter that has come from Venice. Pantalone doesn’t want to leave. Pedrolino tells Pantalone he’d like to be the pimp for his daughter. Pantalone, laughing, goes into his house. Burattino tells Pedrolino how much he’d like to fuck Franceschina. Pedrolino: that woman is my wife. Burattino: I didn’t know that, and they enter the inn.


ORAZIO spills his heart about his love for Flaminia, and the jealousy he has for his brother Flavio;

then

FLAMINIA at the window, and immediately from the other direction comes

then

FLAVIO who lets Orazio stay in the middle, and stands behind him. Orazio greets Flaminia, who then, pretending to return the greeting, greets Flavio, who is her beloved, and says: “Signor Orazio -- don’t hold jealousy for your brother just because I love you and not him”;

then

PEDROLINO, who has seen how Flaminia pretends to speak with Orazio and really speaks with Flavio, approaches Orazio and in sotto voce questions whether the fellow is really speaking with Flaminia. Orazio: that girl is speaking with me. Pedrolino reveals Flavio standing behind his back. Orazio, realizing what’s been happening, angrily chases him with sword in hand; Flavio does likewise, and, without further ado, takes off down the road. Flaminia retires and Pedrolino, laughing, goes back to the inn.


CAP. SPAVENTO and ARLECCHINO, the latter carrying a suitcase, have come from Naples for the former to marry Flaminia, daughter of Pantalone, but they first want to stop at the inn. They knock.

FRANCESCHINA steps out; Arlecchino immediately drops the bag in order to fondle her. The Captain starts to beat Arlecchino; the clamor causes PEDROLINO to come out; he tells Franceschina to go inside and help to bring the suitcase in, and they all exit into the inn,

and so ends the first act.


ON TO ACT TWO