Scapin the Scammer
Adapted into English Verse by Brian Vinero
Volume 8, Number 2, Fall 2020
Many of the plays of Moliere were written in rhymed verse, including the two that are often considered his greatest, most-lasting contribution to world theatre: Le Misanthrope and Tartuffe. When these plays are translated into rhyming couplets when performed in English, particularly in the masterful translations of Richard Wilbur, they take on a style and elan that creates an approximation of the French originals. There have also been many translations of Moliere’s verse plays that render them into prose. An English speaker making a comparison might imagine A Midsummer Night’s Dream translated into French prose with everyday dialogue, rather than the poetry and heightened language of Shakespeare. While the plot and characters, and occasionally the wit, still can come through, they can never create the larger-than-life theatricality and classicism of the originals.
This creates a dual issue for the translator when attempting one of Moliere’s many comedies that were originally written in prose. The writer faces how to bring it to life in English with the sense and style of another place and time and also address the more rapid cadence of the French language, which is instrumental to the pace and nuance of the Moliere oeuvre. Both issues are resolved when translating a play into verse as the rhymed couplets not only elevate the language, but also keep the actors moving along to the clip of iambic pentameter.
So, I took my inspiration from Moliere’s grander plays and have crafted my translation of Les Fourberies de Scapin into rhymed verse. The use of iambic pentameter is particularly helpful for the actor playing the title role. It requires him to speak copious amounts of rapid-fire dialogue as the farce intensifies. The consistent beat and rhythm is very helpful to keep the performer on track while playing a very demanding role. The rhyming dialogue also allows for additional humor to be mined from what is already a very funny play. My hope is to create a version of this play that will allow English speaking actors to celebrate Moliere’s style, wit and incredible contributions to the art of comedy.
Molière (1622-1673). The man who would become one of France’s most-renowned writers was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin before attaining remarkable success as an actor and playwright under the name Molière. His plays built on the traditions of commedia dell’arte, yet refined the street theatre style to a form elegant enough to enchant French society and royalty. He also maintained commedia dell’arte’s broad characterizations and satire yet added depth and social commentary that gave his plays a gravitas that is celebrated worldwide to this day. While his plays were generally uproariously humorous, they also jabbed at the foibles of human nature, particularly hypocrisy. This made him run afoul of certain segments of society. Religious groups especially worked to ban his play Tartuffe, which is now widely considered one of the masterpieces of world theatre along with L’École des Femmes, Le Misanthrope, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and many others.
Playwright Brian Vinero is an alumnus of the Minnesota Conservatory of Performing Arts, the National Shakespeare Conservatory, the 78th Street Theatre Lab, the BMI/Lehman Engel Workshop and a founding member of the New Musical Theatre Exchange. His plays have been produced and/or developed at the Praxis Theatre Ensemble, the 78th Street Theatre Lab, the Willoughby Theatre, the West Side Dance Project, the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and the Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York City, Theatre of Note in Los Angeles, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre in Detroit, and at the Playwrights’ Center, the New Musical Theatre Exchange, the Classical Actors Ensemble, Theatre Pro Rata, and the Minnesota Fringe in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. His translations of the plays of Euripides include Medea, Hecuba, Alcestis, and the four-play cycle Children of Agamemnon consisting of the plays Iphigenia at Aulis, Electra, Orestes, and Iphigenia at Tauris. Other theatrical works include multiple translations of the works of Molière, a modernization of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and musicals adapted from Rostand’s Chantecler and Booth Tarkington’s The Magnificent Ambersons. Brian has worked directly with two Newberry Award-winning authors adapting their work to the stage, has been published by the international literary journal Aysmptote, and has served on the faculties of William Patterson University and Regional Center for the Arts High School. His rhymed verse adaptations of the plays of Euripides, Moliere and Rostand are available for sale on Amazon.com and at the Drama Book Shop in New York City. Member of the Dramatists Guild, BMI, and the Playwrights’ Center.
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that this adaptation being fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Empire, including the Dominion of Canada and all other countries which are signatories to the Universal Copyright Convention and the International Copyright Union is subject to royalty. All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, video or sound taping, radio broadcasting, webcasting, and television and all other forms of mechanical and electronic reproduction are strictly reserved. Particular emphasis is laid on the question of readings, permission for which must be secured from the author’s agent in writing. Inquiries on professional and amateur rights should be addressed to The Robert A Freedman Dramatic Agency, 1501 Broadway Suite 2310, New York, NY 10036 (212.840.5760).
Scapin the Scammer
Adapted into English Verse by Brian Vinero
Cast of Characters:
ARGANTE father to OCTAVE and ZERBINETTE
GERONTE father to LÉANDRE and HYACINTHA
OCTAVIO son to ARGANTE, and lover to HYACINTHA
LEANDER son to GÉRONTE, and lover to ZERBINETTE
ZERBINETTA daughter to ARGANTE, believed to be a gypsy girl
HYACINTHA daughter to GÉRONTE
SCAPIN servant to LÉANDRE
SYLVESTER servant to OCTAVE
NERINE nurse to HYACINTHA
Setting: The main room of Argante’s home.
SCENE I—OCTAVIO, SYLVESTER
Oh what a tragic fate for one who is
In love. What sadder news could ring in his
Ears? So Sylvester, you have just now heard
My father soon returns?
Is he returns this very morning?
Returns this very morning.
And to see
That I am wed?
That you are wed.
The daughter of Signor Geronte?
The daughter of Signor Geronte.
Arrives from Taranto in hopes to be
In hopes to be your bride.
Have heard this through my uncle?
It was through
And he got this information from
From your father.
That had come
Within a letter?
From a letter.
You say my uncle seeks to understand
The nature of our recent actions?
Now seems to understand the nature…
Are not an echo of each other! Please
Say words that are your own instead of these
What is there to say?
You have retained the facts.
But you still may
Advise me in my foul predicament.
I too am petrified by this event
And seek the solace of a wiser man.
But I am terrified and need a plan.
But I do too!
I know I am undone
The moment he returns. He’ll scream, “My son,
The time is nigh for you to die!”
A lowly servant, he will likely see
Me flogged and battered. But he won’t dare kill
Me. That is punishment he only will
Reserve for family members. Even so
It seems I pay for your bad deeds.
OCTAVIO (looks heavenward)
That you can hear me. Please show me the way
To my salvation.
Maybe you should pray
Before you step in something foul.
You save your sermon for a zealot? Still
Your tongue and gums, they are so tiresome!
As tiresome as seeing me become
The victim of your stupid deeds?
Am lost and cannot find the way. Oh why
Or where or what am I to do?
SCENE II—OCTAVIO, SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
Signor Octavio what troubles you?
What could it be? What foul calamity
Now holds you in despair?
Oh glory be,
My dear Scapin! I am beyond all hope,
Unfortunate and cursed beyond all scope
Of mortal men!
How can that be?
Have knowledge of the hell I now go through?
Then know my father soon will be
Arriving with Signor Geronte. And he
Intends to promise me in marriage to
The daughter of Signor Geronte.
Find this distressing? Why?
Oh you don’t know
So how I envy you. As I am so
Enveloped by anxiety.
Dare tell me then I might know what to do.
I am possessed of many talents. I
Take pleasure helping out the young and try
Relieving all their troubles.
If you could only come up with a plan
Or plot or scheme to save my hide. I then
Would be indebted to you, even when
I die, which I must hope is not today.
Well it seems I seem to always find a way
To set things right by tearing them apart.
When schemes are elevated to an art
Then very little is beyond all reach.
But wit is something that no one can teach
Or learn, it only is within you. I
Could minimize my talents or just try
False modesty and beg you not to gush
In fear I might gasp bashfully and and blush.
But no, I boast. As what have I to lose?
I know I am a genius and I choose
To say it without shame or modesty.
My reputation always seems to be
A step ahead of me. Yet even so
It seems these days that people do not know
Who truly holds the wreath of victory.
Oh, they may look but still they do not see
Who truly pulled the lever or the string.
And that is why I now can barely bring
Myself to bother with a scheme. As I
Once found myself in trouble. That is why
I barely dare to lay a trap or trick.
What happened, dear Scapin?
The walking stick
Of justice found that it could flog me.
Have tangled with the law?
We battled through
A little lover’s quarrel.
To tangle with you?
And destroyed my pride.
It used me like a sad, stale tart. Then I
Was left for dead and so I said, “Why try
If my reward is cheap ingratitude?”
So I then vowed to never be unglued
Again by sticking out my neck. Yet still
I am concerned for you. So if you will
Please tell me all that plagues you.
As you know
My father had set out two months ago
And took Signor Geronte with him. They are
Both partners in a business interest far
Away from here.
And left behind,
Myself and also…
Must you now remind
Me of my charge Leander? Just as you
Are trusted in Sylvester’s care, I do
My service to Signor Geronte. Just as
Sylvester serves your father.
But he has
Now fallen fast in love. As now his eye
Has landed on a Gypsy girl.
And tell me something I don’t know.
Are closest friends he put his trust in me
And told me all and took me to her. My
Intrigue was stoked from his description. I
Expected quite a goddess from the way
He spoke of her. And yet I have to say
I found her merely pleasant. Oh he claimed
How she had no compare to others, shamed
By all her heightened attributes. Her face
A masterpiece, her movements full of grace
And dignity. Her brains, her wit, her flair,
Her conversation skills beyond compare.
Her every phrase a miracle and he
Would parrot them incessantly to me,
No matter how inane. Then he would grin
And moan and sigh and say them all again.
And dare I insufficiently proclaimed
Her virtues he would say, “Are you ashamed,
Ignoring such a wonder? Are your eyes
Too ill-equipped to gaze on such a prize?
Your heart must not be functioning if you
Are so insensitive to love so true.”
May I imagine that this story has
We were together one day as
We made our way to see her. She is cared
For by her guardians. We weren’t prepared
To hear loud sobbing as we walked along
The street. The sobs and wails were very strong
And coming from a tiny shack. Just then
A woman rushed to us and said, “Kind men,
You must observe and pity two who are
Within! Two women who have traveled far
To find themselves in misery. If you
Have any heart at all I know you two
Will find yourselves so moved by their sad plight!”
Does this sad story have an end in sight?
Well I was snared by curiosity
And asked Leander to go in with me.
We went inside and saw the saddest scene,
A tragedy so sad and so obscene.
An ancient woman at death’s door between
The realms of here and heaven. At her feet
A servant wailed great lamentations, sweet
Words, salty tears and cries. A girl was there
As well in tears as well that welled. I dare
Say it was sad yet such a lovely sight
That softly touched the heart yet with great might.
Oh, should I cry or maybe snore?
As sad as this young girl would seem undone
In her disgraceful state. She only wore
A ratty petticoat and not much more
Except a tattered jacket. And her hair
Just seemed to grow in bunches everywhere
And barely stayed within her bonnet. Though
She was so ragged she still had a glow
And all her many charms were evident.
She shined like starlight, seeming heaven-sent.
I think I see the light as well.
If you had only seen her shine. No man
Could dare deny her attributes and glow.
I do not doubt it, and I somehow know
Without the gift of meeting her. I see
She charms beyond all measure.
And when she
Shed tears they were so lovely on her cheek
No growling sobs, no bellowing so bleak
And mournful. I would say she had true grace
And every perfect tear fell down her face.
Oh how you paint a portrait…
Who saw the scene would weep as well. As none
Among us could resist the sight of her
Emoting at her mother’s feet with pure
Devotion from a heart with endless hope
That beats within a breast as pure as soap
Connected to great loveliness unbound…
Oh yes, I see. I’ve really come around
To understand your clear perspective. So
Yes, she’s special, blah blah blah. And, oh,
Her loveliest perfection blah blah blah
Was just the greatest thing you ever saw.
What gentleman or savage could resist
Her virtue so alluring?
So you kissed
Nature surely has a way
Of bringing us together.
I said, “May
I soothe your tears with warmest words?” And then
I spoke so softly to her. That was when
I took my leave of her and took aside
Leander. As we both stepped out outside,
I asked him what he thought of her. And he
Said that he merely found her pleasant; she
Was pretty, not remarkable. And I
Was truly wounded! How could he dare try
And minimize her wonders? So I held
My deepest feelings in my heart, compelled
To hide them from his callousness.
Just summarize your story! On my knees
I beg of you, tomorrow will arrive
Before you reach an intermission! I’ve
A summary that should suffice: His heart
Is then inflamed and so he needs to start
To visit her obsessively. Each day
He’s there to mop her tears and lives to say,
“I cannot live without her love.” But then
He is forbidden by her guardian
To visit her again. Oh how he wailed
And wept and cried beseeching her, yet failed
To move her from her staunch position. Though
The girl was penniless she still did show
The signs of breeding and morality.
And so her guardian was bound to see
Her virtues were to only be released
By marriage vows. Well, that only increased
His madness and romantic notions! He
Obsessed and beat his brain incessantly
Debated, pondered, wrestled with his soul
Went back and forth, no reason or control
And then made up his mind while in a daze.
So he has married her. It’s been three days.
Compounding things to make them fun,
His father now returns, his journey done
A full two months before expected. And
His uncle will most surely be on hand
Disclosing he got married, which will be
A shock to hear and quite a sight to see.
As he was promised to the daughter of
Signor Geronte and his clandestine love,
A second wife who lives in Taranto.
Whatever can I do? Where can I go?
My wife is penniless, and so am I.
Well, I will say I barely need to try
To fix this trifling thing you call a mess.
What do you fret about? There’s no distress!
Sylvester, you are made of stronger stuff
Than that. I say you are grown up enough
To be his father and his mother. You
Could not give birth to a solution? Do
You have no wit or creativity?
No notions, plots, solutions? You must be
As dense as all the rocks within your head.
Oh, if I did this in my youth instead
Of now I wouldn’t even break a sweat
And trap those two old fools within a net
And barely think about it. In my day,
No taller than a weed I’d get away
With scrumptiously deceptive larceny.
I am not you, and I would never be.
My brain is too inflexible, and I
Won’t trifle with authority.
My dearest Hyacintha.
SCENE III—HYACINTHA, OCTAVE, SCAPIN, SILVESTRE
Oh my dear!
Can it be true, Octavio? I fear
That tale Sylvester told my nurse is true.
Your father has returned and plans for you
To wed another girl?
So sad to say,
But it is true my love. I only pray
This shocking news won’t kill me. But I fear
Upon your lovely face there is a tear.
You weep, but why? Do you believe that I
Could ever be unfaithful to you? Try
To see my boundless love for you.
You love me, dear Octavio, although
Can I be sure the love you feel today
Will last forever?
But there is no way
That any man who loved you could move on
I have heard that men are drawn
Away more easily than women and
Their fire burns quite hot but can’t withstand
The blowing winds of time.
Oh no, my dear!
My lovely Hyacintha, have no fear.
My heart is true, unlike the average man,
And only beats for you. Just know I plan
To be devoted until death.
To trust that what you say is guaranteed
And truly trust in you, although I fear
You are controlled by one who is not here,
Who holds the strings that pull your purse and heart.
Your father wants to tear us two apart
And wed you to another. And I know
That it would be my death, Octavio.
My Hyacintha, let no man take me
From you, no father or another. Be
Assured I would renounce my homeland and
My life to stay with you. Please understand
That though I have not seen the bride they bring
For me, I find her frightful. Poor sad thing.
I hate to wish her harm, but still I pray
The sea will swallow her, take her away
Forever. Stay your tears, my dear. Each one
Is like a dagger to my heart. Be done
With all your wails and save me.
If it will
Delay your death, I’ll stop my tears until
The heavens send an answer.
You must know
That Heaven hears our hearts.
Then you will show
Them that your heart is true. For only then
Will we be blessed.
And I will prove it when
Then I will be content.
That she is easy on the eyes but free
To use her brain as well. Impressive!
Is someone who can help us. Have no fear,
Scapin is on our side!
Yet I have sworn
To never mix with mischief. Yet I’m torn.
Perhaps if you ask extra nicely?
What ever it may take! What niceties
Entreaties, bargains, what? With all my heart
I beg of you to help us!
That’s a start.
And what of you? What do you have to say?
Like him I beg to you. I also pray
That you will see our plight as yours and do
Whatever you must do.
I thought it through
And find I do not know a word called “no.”
So have no fears. Stand back and I will show
You all my talents.
Just be sure!
Now go relax my dear.
SCENE IV—OCTAVE, SCAPIN, SILVESTRE
Now we must rush
And see you are prepared to face him. You
Must stand your ground.
Yet I will stumble through
My staunch conviction as my father makes
Me nervous, and I tremble with great shakes.
Well, find your courage and maturity.
Or in his eyes you will forever be
A boy to him who needs to be controlled.
It is high time you broke free from your mold,
Completed and mature and hardened. See,
You have two feet, so stand on them and be
As bold as you can be.
Well, I will do
The best I can.
I say we put you through
A test. Call it rehearsal. Let us see
You stand with firm decisiveness and free
OCTAVIO (strikes a pose)
Well, that’s a start.
OCTAVIO (another pose)
Well, that may work. So, let’s pretend somehow
I am your father and I have returned.
And answer me as if I just now learned
About your marriage.
(acts like Argante)
You abhorrent fool!
You good-for-nothing simple-minded tool!
You are unworthy of our family name,
You shiftless spawn that only brings me shame.
How dare you show your face in front of me
When you have sneaked about ungratefully
And wed without my knowledge or consent?
I simply took a trip. Then off you went
Forgetting all I sacrificed for you.
And what is my reward? Returning to
Your sneering, smug expression! No respect
For me, so happy knowing you have wrecked
Your life eternally. Is this your way
Of thanking me? Is this the way you say,
“Oh dearest Father, I respect you?” Do
You have appreciation? Well, you threw
Out your entire future after I
Threw out my life for you. Just tell me why
You hate me in this way. What have I done
To justify a most-ungrateful son?
You are so bold and took a marriage vow,
A vow you know I never would allow;
A secret marriage that has come to light.
What do you have to say, you impolite,
Unfeeling traitor? Answer me! You must
Of course have reasons for your crimes. I trust
That you will tell me. Answer me right now!
I wait to hear your reasons!
(OCTAVIO is shell-shocked. SCAPIN drops the guise of Argante)
Is this how
You plan to handle him?
I am so scared.
You sound like him!
You have to be prepared
To tangle with him, or just play the fool
And like a simpleton just gaze and drool.
I will resolve to stand my ground.
And you are certain?
First you must be still.
Your father now arrives!
Oh God, I’m dead!
(OCTAVIO runs off)
SCENE V—SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
Come back Octavio! Come back instead
Of running like a weakling! And he’s gone.
Let’s wait until his father comes upon
Us. Here he comes!
What shall I say?
Do all the talking. Follow faithfully!
SCENE VI—ARGANTE, SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
(ARGANTE enters at another part of the stage, talking to himself and unaware of the servants)
Who ever heard of such a thing?
SCAPIN (to SYLVESTER)
And now it seems he only has conferred
A reckless thing to do!
SCAPIN (to SYLVESTER)
I say we hear him out!
I ask of you,
What dare you say about this foolish act,
This worthless marriage?
Well, in point of fact
We have a story at the ready.
They try deny this insolence?
Is no incentive to deny it.
Might they concoct some sad excuse?
Or spin a bit of fiction hoping to
Oh, would we do that to you?
All that they try will only be in vain!
Oh will it now?
Oh let them dare explain
What cannot be explained.
Oh let us try.
I will not be bamboozled!
Oh, but why
Would we do such a thing?
I’ll take my son
And send him far away from everyone.
Oh will you? Well, we’ll see.
Enjoy my wrath as I beat him until
His hide is torn!
SYLVESTER (to SCAPIN)
Oh, he remembered me.
I am so fortunate.
(ARGANTE notices SCAPIN and SYLVESTER. He engages Sylvester and speaks through clenched teeth:)
Who do I see?
This chaperone of chaperones, the one
No household would dare do without. My son
Received the greatest care, I dare to say.
Signor, you have returned, and if I may,
I’ll say I am delighted.
Good morning to you.
(back at SYLVESTER)
You have held each plan
Of mine in high regard I know, and my
Dear son has flourished since I said goodbye,
Obeying every order.
Oh, you seem
Quite well, Signor.
ARGANTE (to SCAPIN)
Now dare I dream
That you may dare to speak the truth, you knave!
The trip was good?
So good. But I must save
My words for this foul specimen. If you
Would kindly leave so I can tear into
This misery of drudgery.
And into what?
This shiftless scum!
Do you know what he did?
Incompetent… Oh if you only knew
What he had done and what he did not do!
You mean that little matter?
Do you call little? This disaster?
I now may see your point.
To do this most deceitful thing.
Within their web of lies…
They were content
To go ahead and not seek out consent.
Oh yes, I do agree with you but say
You shouldn’t rage and bellow in this way.
Oh so you say? Well, I still say I will
Go raging, ranting, bellowing until
I’m good and done. What makes you think that I
Don’t have good reason to be angry?
Own first response was anger when I heard
Myself these stealthy nuptials occurred.
I was so shocked I tore your son apart
And scolded in your absence. From the start
I fired fire full of brimstones at
Him, said he was a most-ungrateful brat
And showed such disrespect. I said your feet
Were both meant to be worshiped with complete
Devotion, to be kissed! And also he
Should mind the path your feet have forged and be
Obedient. I say that even you
Could not have lectured him or put him through
The gauntlet any better. But then I
Stepped back and thought a bit and wondered why
We should be so disgusted; what did he
Do that was so disgusting?
Can it be
That you would say that he has done no wrong
In marrying a stranger?
We are long
Past intervention. It was destiny.
Oh, what a fine excuse! Oh now I see,
If anyone should suddenly commit
A crime, then they must only say, “But it
Was destiny, not me! So if they kill
Or cheat or steal, I say that this now will
Be an excuse, “It was my destiny”
But what I said was not philosophy.
I meant to say that he was so ensnared
That he could not escape.
And yet he dared
To step into a web?
So I surmise
That you believe that he will be as wise
As you, although a youth can never know
The prudence of maturity. Although
I guess we can pretend experience
Can come before our years bring out our sense.
Just see my charge Leander. Even though
I taught him right from wrong, look at him go
Destroy his life far worse than your son. I
Believe that you were young yourself. Don’t lie.
I know you were! And in the bloom of youth
You were a scamp as well. Now tell the truth,
As I have heard that in your salad days
You sowed some wild oats in wondrous ways,
And if a lady dared to come upon
You, be assured her virtue would be gone.
Oh, there were wild oats, and how I sowed
But did not make a meal of them and showed
But how could he resist the call,
Confronted by a lovely maiden? All
The attributes within you also are
Within him, so he swept her oh so far
Right off her feet as she charmed him as well.
He goes to see her; how his heart does swell
As he sighs out with words of passion. She
Succumbs to all his overtures, and he
Then makes his move. But what then should occur?
Her relatives arrive and make a stir,
Demanding that he marry her by force
Oh God, he’s good!
And so, of course
I know you would prefer he live not die.
Well, marriage can be death. But still just try
To see this was the way.
I was not told
The total situation.
SCAPIN (indicates SYLVESTER)
Sylvester can confirm it!
He forcibly coerced to wed because
SYLVESTER (deadpan, terrified)
Oh yes, he was coerced!
Do you believe that I would tell a lie?
Why did he not seek out the law and ask
Protection from their threats?
No easy task,
And one he would not do.
But why? It would
Have made annulment easier.
He seek annulment?
Yes, of course.
You will not do that.
I won’t do that?
Do I have no rights? A father has
A right to retribution seeing as
My son was threatened.
But he never will
Consent to intervention.
With help from me he won’t?
Your son. Should he admit to everyone
That he was terrified? And then by force
Was forced to acquiesce? Oh no, of course
He can’t confess to that. He would feel shame
And even worse, disgrace his family name.
What care have I? I do not care at all.
You do not care? But if he should stand tall,
Then he should say he wed of his own will.
And I will say that I will not stand still
And let him spin a sad romantic tale
That has less honor than the truth.
To force him.
I will force him.
I don’t know.
I’d say you can’t.
I say I can! And show
You all that I mean business! I will write
Another will with pen and ink and spite
And disinherit him.
There is no way.
There is a way. You’ll see!
I will not see you do it.
But you will.
I know you test me! Still
You say I will not disinherit him
As if it were a floating, fleeting whim.
I still say no.
Oh is that so? Will you
Attempt to hinder me?
No, you will do
It all yourself.
You will. You see,
You simply do not have the heart to be
I say I do.
I say no way.
I say there is a way. I do not jest!
Oh no, you jest.
You will be pressed
By your parental passions and be swayed.
I never will.
It won’t dissuade
Me. I will disinherit him.
Would never bet on that.
I don’t know why.
Your money could be doubled…tripled.
I would bet far more money that you will
Not do it. As I know you truly are
A decent, kindly man.
But pushed too far
I can be nasty as the worst of men.
And few would call me kindly even when
My mood is moderate. Enough of you
And all your blathering. I am now through
With this annoying conversation.
And find my worthless son, you worthless low
Excuse for servitude. I will now seek
Signor Geronte. I’ll bend his ear and speak
To him of my misfortunes.
Should there be
A way that I can serve you, call on me.
Well, thank you.
I must ask. Please tell me why
I have one son and it is him? If I
Still had my daughter that you took away,
Then she could be my heir. (exits)
SCENE VII—SCAPIN, SYLVESTRE
Well, I must say
You are a most amazing man. Although
I think we may succeed. I also know
That we are being pressed for money from
Too many people that may soon become
You can leave it all to me.
The bait is planted in the trap, but we
Require just one player for my plan.
But where could I discover such a man?
A most convincing liar. Let me see…
Look over here, Sylvester. Right at me!
Just tilt your head. No tilt your cap and show
Me your most angry look; that’s nice. Now go
And place your hand upon your hip and bring
A pretense to your posture like a king.
Just play it like the saddest tragedy.
Well, we can work with this. Just follow me,
And you will find yourself in a disguise!
I say Scapin this comes as a surprise.
Although I know that you so rarely fail,
I only ask I don’t wind up in jail!
Our fortunes are entwined like brothers, we
May find that jail is just a sight to see.
And it cannot destroy a noble heart.
Now we have work to do. I say we start!
(SCAPIN and SYLVESTER make a quick exit)
End of Act I
SCENE I—GÉRONTE, ARGANTE
There is no doubt this weather will prevail;
Our visitors will be here without fail.
I just spoke to a sailor, and he said
He saw our ship about to sail and head
Here from Taranto. So my daughter should
Arrive here soon. But if she only would
Arrive here at a far more opportune
Occasion. Now our plans have all been strewn
About, and now your son has thrown away
The plans we made for him as well.
You should not fret about him. Be assured
He will not be a problem. Take my word
For it as I will go to see him now.
My good Signor Argante, how does one plow
The children that he sows then reaps? I say
The way to raise a child is to pray!
I say that you are most correct, but why
Do you say that just now?
Well, it is my
Opinion that when sons are foolish, it
Is all the father’s fault.
It is a bit,
But why say that to me and say it now?
Why did I say what I just said?
To put it best? If you had raised him right
Like all good fathers do, well then this spite
He shows to you would not be dared.
And I suppose you never need advice
On how to raise your son?
I never do.
And should he dare what your son did to you
I would be devastated.
Can you just
Imagine he dare violate your trust
And do a thing far worse than my son dared?
What might you say?
What might I say?
To say what you might say?
I say that I
Can’t say what we are speaking of.
Imagining Signor Geronte that you
Live in a house of glass. Do you dare to
I cannot understand why we
Now speak of glass and stones?
Then I will be
Have you heard something of my son?
That might be possible.
Just might believe your serving man Scapin
Relayed a rumor to me. He began
To tell the details, but he got so vexed.
But know what I have learned made me perplexed.
I say that you should seek him out as I
Must now see my solicitor and try
To find a way to find a way to free
Myself from this disaster. I will see
You later. (exits)
SCENE II—GERONTE (alone)
What a mystery! What can
My son have done that is more shameful than
What his son has? What could be worse? I say
To wed without consent in such a way
Is bad, as bad can be.
SCENE III—GERONTE, LEANDER.
Well, there you are!
(LEANDER steps in to embrace his father)
My father, I am pleased to see you!
(GERONTE steps back, holds him off)
Enough for now! First I will speak to you.
But first a fast embrace…
When we are through,
But why deprive me of the joy
Of welcoming you home?
Because my boy
There is a matter to be settled.
Just stand and let me scrutinize you.
Look me in the eye!
You will inform me of your actions, how
You spent your time when I was absent.
While you were gone?
While I was gone.
Well, what did you expect?
Expect? I know
What was expected, but you will now show
Me what you did in actuality.
I did not do a thing that you might see
As disrespectful to your wishes.
Just not a thing at all?
Yes, that is so.
You sound so confident.
As I have done
As you have wished, I cannot think of one
Infraction on my innocence.
Scapin has told me otherwise.
Oh how his name not brings a red
Infection on your cheeks!
What has he said?
And what of me?
Enough to know! But I
Will not conduct my business here. So why
Not scuttle off to home? I soon will see
You there. You dared to try deceiving me.
Dishonor and disgrace will see you swept
Right off my will and from my life! (exits)
SCENE IV—LEANDER (alone)
Assuring that my secret was secure,
So how could he betray me? I am sure
He told my father everything, so I
Must seek revenge upon him! He will die,
And by my hand!
(OCTAVIO and SCAPIN enter)
SCENE V—OCTAVIO, LEANDER, SCAPIN
My dear Scapin I say
That I owe everything to you. The way
You intervene is wonderful, you are
A man most heaven-sent I say and far
Beyond all expectations!
Oh I see
The scoundrel has arrived!
Well, I should be
Most honored to be at your service as
Your greeting is so kind.
LEANDER (draws sword)
Your humor has
Enraged me further. So you soon will learn
SCAPIN (falls to knees)
Oh, but sir!
Away Octavio! Don’t hold me back!
In heaven’s name!
I will attack
With all my rancor and my anger!
If only for my sake, get hold of these
Most homicidal urges!
But tell me what I did?
You did to me
What you have done, you scoundrel!
Oh no, Octavio. Will you allow
This villain to escape? Let him confess
His sins to me. I will accept no less.
Although I know what you have done, did you
Not know that I am in the know? Now through
Your chain of tricks they all have led to me,
And you will now admit it or we see
Your innards on my sword!
Oh really? You
Would do that to your sword? Get blood and goo
All over it?
Confess, I say. Confess!
Inform me of my sins, Signor?
Pick one among your many sins. I hear
Your conscience calling out so loud and clear.
Upon my very life I do not know
What you refer to.
LEANDER (raises sword)
Maybe this will show
Your memory a clue?
Now seem to just recall I happened by
Some wine then drank it with my friends. The wine
That was a gift to you. I made it mine
And made it look as if the cask had sprung
A leak. And that is when I went and flung
Some water under it so you would think
The cask had failed. But I just had a drink.
So it was you! You stole my Spanish wine
You scoundrel! Then you watched me go malign
Another servant, letting me believe
That it was her. Oh damn, how you deceive.
I truly am so sorry. Oh Signor…
I am so glad, but won’t forgive you for
Your current foul transgression.
That was not
What you referred to?
No. But you have brought
Far fouler curses on me, and you will
Admit them now!
If we may wait until
I might remember what I did…
LEANDER (moves blade closer)
That you remember!
SCAPIN (stares at blade)
That is clear!
Some cooler heads prevail?
Oh, I confess!
It all is true Signor, I did it! Yes,
Three weeks ago you sent me out to take
That Gypsy girl you love a watch. I make
A full admission; I came home with mud
Upon my clothes, a face marked up with blood
And told you how I was attacked and robbed
By ten barbaric bandits and I sobbed
How now the watch was lost forever. Though
That is not how it happened. I am so
Embarrassed to admit I stole it. I
Apologize Signor, I told a lie.
So it was you who was the thief!
I simply thought that while I’m serving you,
It truly is a help to know the time.
How kind of you to tell me of your crime.
Oh what a faithful loyal servant you
Now prove to be. But what else did you do?
That wasn’t it?
That wasn’t it, you foul
And loathsome creature, always on the prowl
For treasure yet can never seem to find
But I am out of truth!
Me how I am a patient man, as I
Now feel this blade is getting heavy.
Confess to nothing?
Nothing? Is that all?
Well, there is something I recall.
Do you remember back six months ago?
That ghost that woke you up and made you so
Disturbed and then he beat you thoroughly?
I confess Signor that it was me.
I am so sorry. You were so distraught
And ran away in terror and then caught
Your foot and then fell down the cellar door.
The ghost was you? You fiend!
I did it for
A harmless prank in hopes that you would be
Less likely to go out carousing. We
Spend many night out chasing after you.
I hoped you then would be less likely to
Go out at night because of ghosts.
Expect we will revisit this. So good
Of you to let me know. But now I say
The present matter is more pressing. May
I kindly now inquire what you said
About me to my father? Now! Instead
Of further sad confessions.
Did you say
I spoke some words and to your father?
My patience is not tested further.
I have not seen your father yet.
You have not seen him?
Not since he came back.
And you are sure?
So sure I’m sure.
Just ask him.
But he told
Me you told him himself.
May I be bold
And say he did not speak the truth?
SCENE VI—LEANDER, OCTAVIO, CARLOS, SCAPIN
I bring bad news about your love.
The love of God, what now?
She came to me
And said her tribe would take her and then flee
The city. But you have two hours to
Deliver them their money. If you do
Not send it. They will carry her away
Where you will never see her.
Did you say
Yes, two hours. (bows, exits)
SCENE VII—LEANDER, OCTAVIO, SCAPIN
Oh my dear
Scapin, I beg! Please help me!
Did I hear
You call me “Dear Scapin?” Necessity
Has come to call and oh so suddenly
I am your “Dear Scapin.”
Who could have guessed
I suddenly forget what you confessed,
And also all your crimes I do not know
Are also all forgiven…
Oh no, no!
I cannot be forgiven. I insist
You take your sword and stab me. And just twist
It in my guts. Then I will fall down dead
And know I have deserved my fate!
Of that, I say that you can rescue me
By rescuing my love.
That cannot be!
Oh no, you need to kill me.
No, I can’t
As I adore the wondrous miscreant
I see before me. He must live to turn
My tragedies to triumphs.
Yet I yearn
For death, so kill me. Won’t you kill me?
Release all thoughts of death so you can go
And do the things you do to save me.
Scapin, you need to help him!
Insulting threats, how can I?
Oh I plead
With you, forgive my temper. How I need
Your mastery of trickery!
Am echoing his begging.
Could I try
Forgiving all his insults? I say no.
You must forget, forgive it all!
Consideration for your charge when he
Is troubled in a great catastrophe.
Just out of nowhere all those threats just flung
At me. Oh how they hurt and how they stung!
And I was in the wrong. Oh now I know!
You called me “villain” “loathsome scoundrel”(sobs) Oh!
My deepest true apologies!
You’d stab me with your sword and kill me dead.
I beg of you, forgive me! I will kneel
Upon this dusty floor and then appeal
To your accommodating nature.
(kneels on floor, goes into “begging” stance and bellows:)
Scapin do not forsake me!
Do you hear
That sad, pathetic plea? Can you ignore
Oh will you just get up off the floor!
But next time you might think before you make
A hasty threat!
LEANDER (standing up)
So you will not forsake
Maybe. Maybe not.
But now time flies!
Oh hold your horses! So shall I surmise
You both are needing cash?
SCAPIN (to OCTAVIO)
Well I see I must dig through
Both of your father’s pockets.
I am set
To snare your father, and I soon will get
The money you desire with my plan.
But as for yours, he’s such a stingy man.
Yet even so, he is so stupid we
Should find it easy. He is thoroughly
Distracted by the smallest trick. But do
Not be offended, as they say that you
Do not resemble him at all. They say
In fact that he is not your father.
I just suggest you quit while you’re ahead?
Oh well, who cares about what has been said?
Octavio, I see your father! He
Will soon be here, and so I say that we
Begin by hooking him. You both should leave.
When I’m alone it’s easy to deceive.
But send Sylvester here and quickly. He
Must come and play his role convincingly.
(OCTAVIO and LEANDER exit, ARGANTE enters muttering to himself. SCAPIN says aside:)
SCENE VIII—ARGANTE, SCAPIN
I see the wheels are spinning in his mind!
ARGANTE (to himself)
Such foul behavior one could never find!
So inconsiderate! To lose his head
Then rush into a marriage. Youth are led
By hearts, but never by the brain!
I am your servant and am waiting for
Your next instruction.
ARGANTE (noticing him)
Oh, hello Scapin.
You wrestle with your son’s behavior?
I not? And oh, it eats away at me.
Signor, how life is challenging. But we
Must fortify ourselves and be prepared.
I am reminded how a friend once shared
The words of a philosopher. He said…
He said a father will not dread
Returning home from any voyage when
He conjures up calamities. And then
His nightmares trump reality. Yes, he
Should fantasize his house was thoroughly
Destroyed by fire, and his wife has died,
His son now married to a worthless bride.
His daughter’s virtue in the gutter and
His fortune squandered. Then he’ll understand
That anything far short of that is good.
And he shall thank his lucky stars and should
See how this wise philosophy is sound.
I know I have, and know that I have found
Expecting a disaster soothes the soul.
So I assume my masters have one goal:
To batter and abuse me, scream and yell
And take their anger out on me and tell
Me how my days are numbered as they beat
Me so severely, kicking with complete
Abandon, whipping me with so much glee,
Insulting, scolding, coming after me
With clubs and knives and threats and blows. But I
Am so relieved if I am spared and try
To see the bright side of my fate.
And what a lovely thought and sound advice.
But this confounded marriage is a sin
Beyond what I can bear, and I am in
A pickle, as he was betrothed, and I
Must seek solicitor’s advice and try
To undo all the vows he dared to take.
Signor may I suggest you try and make
Alternative arrangements? As you know,
A lawsuit is the hardest field to hoe,
And you may find entanglements.
You and suspect you are correct, yet fear
I have no other option.
Oh but I
Might have a new solution! Deep in my
Sad heart I felt for you, and so my head
Went spinning all about while filled with dread
About your sad predicament. I see
A father suffering so woefully,
And I am torn to pieces. Seeing you
The pain is doubled. My regard is true
And deeply felt.
I do appreciate
Your great devotion.
Then I must relate
To you how I went to the brother of
The girl he married. He is one to shove
A sword without a second thought and pick
A fight for nothing, and is far too quick
To kill like he is tossing wine into
His throat. I went to see him to pursue
Discussion of this marriage, and I said
That he should see our way. When they were wed,
The vows were pressured under threat of harm,
And he should know how easily your arm
Can reach the scales of justice. As you are
An influential man with friends quite far
Above and well beyond his. And I warned
Him how a father’s right cannot be scorned.
I really laid it on, and how he heard
My arguments and noted every word.
And so I spoke of money, and he was
Receptive to the concept. So he does
Agree to now dissolve this marriage through
The miracle of cash that comes from you!
What is the price for miracles?
He dared to ask too much.
Extravagance and so outrageous!
He just said five hundred might allow
Him to forget the marriage. But then swore
Six hundred would for certain.
That much for
The act of just forgetting? Five or six
Damn hundred? Oh he thinks such clever tricks
Might fool me, but he really does not know
Who he is dealing with!
Yes that is so!
And so I simply scoffed at his demand
Then laughed and tried to make him understand
That you are not a man so easily
Manipulated. He will never see
Exorbitant extortion work on you!
Well, after some discussion, I got through
To him, and so he acquiesced. And he
Said he’ll rejoin the army soon and be
In need of new equipment. So he does
Have need of ready money, and because
Of that he will negotiate with you.
So, first he needs a horse, and that comes to…
Well…sixty for a decent one.
Well, sixty does seem reasonable.
Will need a harness and two pistols. That
Will be another twenty.
ARGANTE (figures in head)
We are at
Um, eighty then…
This all seems within reason.
He can’t leave
Without a steed to serve his servant, so
He will need thirty for that horse…
Of all the insolent indulgence! I
Will not provide that!
Depleted purse will not provide that. He
Is cheeky to demand it!
Will you see
His servant forced to walk?
I do not care!
So let him walk, or let him run.
To haggle over pennies? As they will
Just wind up with solicitors until
Their pockets burst. I say that you should take
This reasonable offer.
I will make
Myself dig deep and give it to him.
He also says he needs a pack mule…
To hell with him and his damn mule! I say
This all is all too much. So I will pay
Solicitors and let a judge decide.
Signor, I beg of you…
I have my pride.
But only one small mule…
Who cares how small?
Or even just a donkey!
Think of all…
No, let the law decide I say.
What ever do you speak of? There is more
To this than meets the eye! As you must weigh
The weighted scales of justice, and they say
Appeals are constantly considered through
An endless hall of endless courtrooms. You
Will be humiliated by each writ,
And like a wild wolf, they tear you bit
By bit. The clerk and counselors and then
Attorneys and solicitors and when
They all have drained you of your blood, here come
The magistrates and judges! Should a crumb
Remain of you, it will be torn apart
As any of these monsters with no heart
Can easily destroy the saddest case.
The way these bastards work is a disgrace.
Just watch a bailiff slip a summons right
Below your nose. Solicitors just might
Be bribed by the opposing counsel to
Desert you when you go to court, or you
May find he throws your case with arguments
That are ridiculous and then presents
Your case with random blathering. And they
May hold you in contempt for nothing, say
Your documents are suddenly misplaced,
A court reporter claims he has erased
All testimony. And if even then
In spite of everything you find that when
You slip through all the perils of the court
And fight through all objections and each tort,
You find that someone bribed the judge to be
Against you. It could be an enemy
Who sent a tart to whisper in his ear.
Signor, I beg of you and truly fear
That you won’t save yourself from this foul hell.
Oh what damnation waits for you? I tell
You that a lawsuit makes me so aghast
That I would run away from one, and fast!
How much then for the mule?
For all of it:
Two horses and a mule and then a bit
More for the harness and the pistols and
A bit he owes at his hotel. A grand
Sum of two hundred!
Of two hundred?
I’ll take my chances with the courts!
In the courts!
Assess the danger…
In the courts!
A case to go to court, you need to pay
For writs and summons, resignations. They
Will charge you for each brief and plead and there
Are consultations, files everywhere,
And evidence and documents. Then see
How any question that you ask will be
Recorded on a ledger, and they will
Be happy to then add it to your bill.
Decrees, and fees and signatures and then
Each piece of paper will be counted when
They pile more upon your bill. See how
They charge for deeds and with other fees and now
They stick you for a signature and seal,
And then when you attempt your first appeal,
You have to pay them all again. Signor,
Just give the man the money! I implore
You, do it and be done with it at last!
Two hundred is too much.
But think how fast
This all will all be over! In my head
Just now I calculated, and instead
Of paying all the courts far more, well you
Will save a fortune! What, how much? I do
Believe two hundred fifty more, much more
Than just two hundred he is asking for.
And think of all the time and trouble saved,
And you will save yourself the foul depraved
Foul odor in the court. If I could free
Myself from pain of legal counsel, see
How fast I would pay hundreds more.
Cannot be bothered if the lawyers try
To make a mockery of me.
Will do as you see fit. But why go through
A nasty lawsuit?
I will not allow
Two hundred to be stolen from me.
Here comes the man we speak of.
(SYLVESTER enters disguised as a rogue, walks in with anger and fury.)
SCENE IX—ARGANTE, SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
Where can I find that oh-so-sorry man,
The father of Octavio?
What for, Signor?
They told me he will try
To call me to the courts! And he will sue
To see my sister’s vows annulled!
So sure that he intends to? Though I hear
He won’t pay you two hundred, as I fear
He says that is too much.
Too much? I’ll see
That he is killed and damned eternally!
Where is he? As I will eviscerate
Him and without a worry for my fate.
Yes, they can kill me for it; I don’t care!
He won’t escape me; I am everywhere!
(ARGANTE hides behind SCAPIN)
Signor, the man you speak of is quite brave.
He may not be afraid of you.
Is not afraid of me? Well, curses on
Him! And if he were here, I’d set upon
Him with my sharpened sword and stick it through
His stupid, beating heart!
And who are you?
SCAPIN (holds arms out)
Oh, he is not the man you seek, Signor!
No, this is not the one you’re searching for!
But does he dare to call that man his friend?
Oh no Signor, oh no! How you offend
Him! As he is his greatest enemy!
You say his greatest enemy?
Assured I am so glad to hear it.
Are enemies with one I hate? It’s true?
You hate the foul Argante as I do?
Is full of hateful hate. Can you not see
The way he shakes before you?
(SYLVESTER grabs ARGANTE’S hand and shakes it violently)
Take my hand
My friend, and you will surely understand
My handshake is my bond, and I now vow
On all my honor; I swear here and now
Before the sun sets, I will bring to you
The bloody body of the bastard who
They call “Argante.” Yes, put your trust in me!
Are violent acts the only remedy?
You know they are illegal in this land.
As if I care! You fail to understand
I have no fear of laws or jails!
Will surely take precautions. There may be
Some relatives and friends and servants who
Will come defend his life and challenge you.
I live for murder and destruction! Death
Is not my fear; it is a goal. My breath
Reeks of the stench of blood and guts! Oh where
Is this foul man I seek? Oh let him dare
To face me with his relatives and friends,
And I will send them to untimely ends!
Let them surround me from all sides and draw
Their swords and hold them high. I’ll yell, “Hurrah!”
And say, “Pathetic fools you dare engage
Me? See my sword held high, and feel my rage!”
(He pulls out his sword and mimes attacking men from all sides.)
I lunge and parry, strike and block and thrust!
Again, again, again!
(sees imaginary enemy)
Oh, if I must…
(jumps in for attack again)
I slaughter you and you and you and you.
Is that enough? What, no? Then I will chew
Your guts and spit them out! You like it rough?
Take that and that and that! Is that enough?
You rabble, slime and rubbish in a horde!
Oh look, your blood has stained my polished sword.
I love to see you die, the lot of you.
I only have begun, but you are through.
(Looks directly at SCAPIN and ARGANTE, he is now rabid with madness.)
Do you stand there awaiting death as well?
Your comrades all have died, and I can tell
You wish for death yourself. So do not dare
To think that you are going anywhere.
Don’t make a move or think of drawing back.
Just take it like a man as I attack!
(He lunges at them with gusto. SCAPIN stands firm, as ARGANTE cowers.)
Oh no, Signor! We are not party to
This thrust and parry carnival!
Have learned don’t dare to play a trick on me!
(SYLVESTER bellows and exits, sword aimed at more invisible challengers. SCAPIN examines the room.)
SCENE X—ARGANTE, SCAPIN
So many dead, a tragic sight to see.
All over what? Just merely money. Well,
What’s done is done. So I will simply tell
You: Have a lovely day. (starts to exit)
SCAPIN (turns back)
Did you say something?
I think we should try
To give him the two hundred.
For your sake,
I am so glad to hear it.
Let us take
It to him right away. I have it here
In ready cash with me.
Oh, but I fear
That I should take it; you should not, as you
Should not be seen as someone who would do
Salacious acts. Besides, if now he sees
You as you are, then he will know. So please,
And for your own protection, just stay here.
And think, if he should see you, then I fear
That he will only ask for more from you.
You may be right, But still I like to do
My business by myself. I like to see
The hand that takes my money.
SCAPIN (feigns hurt)
Look at me.
Am I not to be trusted?
Oh, of course.
Oh, but what I ask? Do you endorse
Me as an honest man or as a thief?
Am I deceitful? Is it your belief
That I am acting in a way against
You? Can it be that you became convinced
My goals are not in line with yours and my
Own master’s? Here it is you seek to try
Combining your two houses! As I do
Not have your confidence, then I am through
With all of this, and you can find someone
That you can trust to see your will is done
And free you of this foul entanglement!
(ARGANTE pushes cash at SCAPIN)
No, here Scapin!
Oh no, do not relent!
Your money is not safe with me at all.
No, go just find another you can call
Your trusted representative.
ARGANTE (shoves it at him)
Oh no, I can’t! I simply drown in fear
That as I am unworthy of your trust,
How can I trust myself? I fear I must
Be secretly a thief; how can I know
As I may hide it from myself?
And take this with you, I demand it! Here!
Don’t dare to make me ask again!
(SCAPIN takes it)
It might be prudent you get a receipt
To have a guarantee that no deceit
Will further come from him.
That he won’t find a fool when meeting me.
Then I will now return to home and wait.
(as ARGANTE exits)
And I will be there very soon!
(GERONTE begins to enter)
SCENE XI—GÉRONTE, SCAPIN
To have one done, and now I need to do
The other one!
Oh look, and right on cue:
One bug, and then another in my net!
(pretends not to notice GERONTE)
Oh what misfortune! Oh, to be beset
With sad disaster! Lord above, I pray
To you for this unhappy father. May
Signor Geronte please persevere. What can
What does he say? I say the man
Looks steeped in misery!
Where can he be?
Can someone go and find this man for me?
Please find Signor Geronte!
Scapin, what is
(SCAPIN rushes about the room as if so distraught he cannot hear him)
I must tell him now of his
Impending great disaster when I find
SCAPIN (still faking)
I am in a bind,
As everywhere I look, he is not there.
But I am here.
SCAPIN (looks under furniture)
I seek him everywhere,
And yet he must be hiding. Where could he
Now be, I cannot guess.
Can you not see
Or hear, as I am here!
SCAPIN (suddenly “seeing” him)
Oh, there you are!
You are impossible to find when far
But I was standing very near
To you for half an hour. Now be clear:
What is this all about?
Your son, Signor…
My son, Signor?
The victim of sad circumstances that
Are strange indeed.
What are they?
SCAPIN (tearing up)
Oh, he sat
Right here this afternoon just looking sad,
And he confided earlier you had
Said something to him and surprisingly
Associated me with it. And we
Went walking to the harbor as I tried
To soothe his shattered soul, and there we spied
A Turkish ship within the harbor. We
Were greeted by a sailor, and then he,
With gentlemanly manners, said we could
Both come aboard his ship. And there he stood
Extending out his hand to us. And we
Both went aboard. And you should know that he
Was so hospitable, he served fine wine
And fruit and cake; it all was so divine.
These circumstances are not sad.
And hear what is to come. As we both ate,
The ship set sail out to the sea while we
Were unaware. The sailor then sent me
Out on a skiff to bring a warning to
You that five hundred must be paid or you
Will never see your son again, as they
Will take him to Algiers!
Oh no! No way,
Yes, five hundred! And they said
You only have two hours!
I am dead
And by his hand, the bastard!
You must respond and quickly. Do it for
The son you love or he will be enslaved.
Why did he step upon the ship?
Adventure. He had no idea.
And tell them now Scapin: Release my son,
Or I will send the law!
Upon the open sea? Unlikely, or
You seek to tease me?
Why did you both go
I simply say we did not know
What destiny had planned for us.
Scapin, I see a way for you to play
The faithful servant.
And tell her to retrieve my son. And show
Them how you will replace me. You can be
Collateral and be a guarantee
Until I find the funds.
Signor, do you
Believe what you are saying? That they do
Their business in a way that they will take
A servant as a substitution?
Me understand. Why did he want to go
Within the galley with that scoundrel?
How could the lad predict the peril that
Awaited him within? Signor, we’re at
A standstill and the time is flying. We
Began with just two hours.
GERONTE (in denial)
Can it be…
Can it be he said…
Has he no soul or conscience? Can he show
Well, he is a sailor…
He understand how much this is?
Is well aware how much he asks for.
He dream that money grows on trees? Because
I tell you it does not!
Some people are
Immune to reason.
Oh, he stepped too far
When he stepped on that ship!
Oh, what a waste
Of words. Forget the ship. We must make haste.
Each moment that commences separates
Us farther from your son, and soon the Fates
Will fling him far forever.
(calls out, as if to Leander)
Oh my poor
Young master, how I weep to know they tore
You from your father and your home. Just think,
You’re at this very moment on the brink
Of life so far away and bound in chains.
But heaven knows I busted all my brains
In my attempts to rescue you. A shame
Your father does not love you, but the blame
Is his and his alone.
Just stop, Scapin!
As I will go and get the money.
You hurry? As we deal with desperate men,
And time is fleeting.
How much was it then?
Four hundred, did you say?
Five hundred! Why did he decide to go
Upon the ship?
I know, I know.
Have walked another way?
But see Signor, the time…
I place a curse
Upon that ship!
I say, what could be worse?
It seems a ship is caught within his throat!
See here Scapin, right here within my coat
I have the gold we need. I just received
(pulls a purse from his coat, stares at it longingly)
Who could know that I could be so grieved
To see you torn from my my firm grasp?
(glares at SCAPIN)
That sailor he is headed straight to Hell!
SCAPIN (holds out hand)
I will, Signor.
And tell him he is low…
…As low as low can be, and he is so
You can bet I will.
And he is…
Yes, I will…
And I will kill
Him when I get my hands on him.
SCAPIN (losing patience)
I will, I will, I will!
Do not distress
Scapin. Now go and quickly get my son.
Well what Scapin?
It can’t be done
Without the money.
What, the money? I
Just gave it all to you!
Oh, you did try
But put it back inside your coat.
My grief has clouded up my mind.
Why did he step upon the ship? Oh why
You cursed ship and sailor? I will cry
To Heaven hoping Hell will take you!
(as GERONTE exits, SCAPIN says aside:)
Has pained to pay five hundred achingly
And right into my hand. Yet I will play
My other hand and really make him pay
For spinning lies about me to his son!
(OCTAVIO and LEANDER enter)
SCENE XII—OCTAVIO, LEANDER, SCAPIN
Hello, Scapin! I pray you say you’ve won.
Please say you have dispatched my misery.
SCAPIN (to OCTAVIO)
I have two hundred here as you can see.
I got it from your father.
(tosses him ARGANTE’S purse)
I am so
SCAPIN (to LEANDER)
But I am sad to say although
I tried, I failed to help you.
LEANDER (starts to run off)
I must die!
Without my dearest Zerbinetta I
Will have no reason to go on!
How quickly you accept defeat.
Become of me without true love?
(pulls out GERONTE’S purse)
As I have captured all necessities
Right here for you.
Oh I am saved!
SCAPIN (pulls purse away)
There is but one condition: You must state
You will allow me my revenge as I
Deceive your father.
As you wish, with my
So you swear right here?
In front of witnesses?
In business! Here we go, five hundred!
(tosses purse to LEANDER)
We’ll pay the ransom for my love. Let’s go!
End of Act II
SCENE I—ZERBINETTA, HYACINTHA, SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
Your lovers have decided that you should
Both wait together. And we think their good
Intentions should be honored.
I must say
That their intentions just delight me. May
I now receive this company with great
Appreciation. Also, may I state
That friendship shared between our loves should be
Between us two as well? You will not see
Me give a cause to stop it.
And I take
Your offering, as I will not forsake
An overture of friendship.
What if you
Are offered love?
Well, love is something to
Be more considered as the stakes are high,
So I am more reluctant.
Yet you try
To dare reject my master when he’ll do
Things far beyond the bounds of love for you.
So I should say you have a guarantee,
And so you should accept him?
Yet I see
Some reasons to be cautious. What he’s done
Is not sufficient to secure me. One
Who has a happy temperament like me,
So fond of fun and all frivolity,
May seem content, and yet it all may hide
Some true concerns that haunt me deep inside.
And so he should slow down should he believe
That buying me is quite sufficient. Leave
A ransom and find love? I should say no.
So let him put his purse away and show
Me how his heart is now held ransom and
How there are certain rituals he’s planned
To prove he is devoted.
You will see
That he has planned to take your hand. And he
Is most sincere and honorable. Or
I would not be assisting him.
Than your good word is then required. Yet
I still believe his father now will fret
About the marriage.
Just leave him to me.
HYACINTHA (to ZERBINETTA)
Our fates are twisted now, so we should be
The fastest friends. It seems we both now share
Some fears, and now it seems we are aware
We mingle our misfortunes.
You are advantaged, as you surely know
Your parentage, and they are there for you.
So you can seek consent from them. I do
Not harbor any hope of that. And I
Will find his father only asks if my
Worth can be counted with no dowry.
And yet consider there is hope, as you
Need not concern yourself your lover will
Be tempted by another bride.
A lover’s changing heart is not the fear
That we should fear the most. As we can steer
The heart that we have harnessed. Yet I dread
The power of a father. As I said,
They only see our value in a purse,
Not in our souls.
I know, what could be worse?
The way to love is quite a rocky road.
True love should be a sweet romantic ode
With two combined as perfect as a rhyme.
You could not be more wrong. You’ll find with time,
Familiarity can breed contempt,
And perfect, peaceful bliss will soon prevent
Attempts on all romantic acts. We need
Some ups and downs, or peace will soon impede
Our inspiration. Then stagnation kills
Our senses when we want to feel some thrills.
But you must tell us now Scapin how you
Got money out of that old miser through
Your trickery. I know you know how I
Will laugh so heartily, and that is my
Reward for your endeavors.
Oh, just ask
Sylvester here. He’s perfect for the task,
As I am busy spinning webs to snare
A nasty bug. Stand back as I prepare
Another round of sweet revenge.
Why must you leap at dangers such as these?
They only lead to trouble!
Life is good
When one is still alive. And so we should
Take chances seeking danger.
Oh, could you
Just listen just this once to me and do
As I advise?
No, I prefer to hear
Someone who I respect: Myself.
For you. Why take the risk?
Why do you care?
You work yourself into a lather.
I say I am concerned you will be whipped
Within an inch of your sad life?
Down to the waist and flogged…who cares?
It is my hide I risk.
The one who dares
His hide can take responsibility
For what commences.
You will never see
Me shirk from any danger. How I hate
Those with the meekest hearts. See them await
A danger that may never come and then
Find that their chance may never come again.
Yet we still need you here and still alive.
I understand. But leave me to connive.
Yes leave me, all of you!
(as they all exit, SCAPIN says aside:)
Let no one say
Scapin will ever give himself away.
And lips that stay so sealed will surely see
Me have my fun with great impunity.
SCENE II—GERONTE, SCAPIN
Hello Scapin. Tell me what you have done.
Have you arranged a rescue of my son?
Your son is safe, Signor, yet now I fear
That you are now in danger. Being here
Is not a good idea. You should be
In your own house.
As you stand here with me, outside they seek
About the brother of the girl that wed
Octavio. Apparently he said
That it was you who broke them up, as you
Intend your daughter for his hand. And through
Your machinations you have now destroyed
His sister. Now his friends have been deployed
With swords held high while crying out your name
And calling for your blood. Oh what a shame
That they are so devoted, searching for
You with a vengeance, hunting by the score,
Harassing anyone they come upon
Demanding information, riding on
Each road and alleyway they block the way
That leads up to your house. I’m sad to say
There is nowhere to turn, nowhere to go
That won’t deliver you to them!
What can I do, Scapin?
I wish I knew.
Signor, this is unpleasant. How I do
Now tremble from my toes up to my head!
Oh wait, I have a thought…
(SCAPIN goes upstage and pretends to listen)
Of what I thought, I think I need to try
To think a thought again.
Just think of my
Protection. You must save me!
There is one
Solution, but I say it can’t be done
Without me risking life and limb.
Just think how you will prove yourself, Scapin
As truly being loyal. Don’t forsake
I will do what I must do and take
The risk. Oh my devotion has me snared.
If I should die, they all will know I cared.
But I will see you are rewarded! You
Should be assured that when I am well through
With this fine coat I wear, it will be yours.
Oh wait, just wait as inspiration pours
Right out of me and tells me what to do.
(SCAPIN runs and grabs a giant sack)
Yes, now I know a way to rescue you!
Just step into this sack.
(GERONTE thinks he sees someone)
Wait, who is there?
No one is there, so step in here. Take care
To be so very still. I’ll carry you
Right out of here and past the retinue
Of angry men and see you safely set
For home. Be like a bundle; never let
Them see you move. When you are safe inside,
We’ll barricade the door, and you can hide
As I send word for help.
GERONTE (getting into sack)
I say that you
Are most inspired.
Oh, how true, how true!
Now get inside where you are safe.
(GERONTE gets inside, SCAPIN says aside)
Revenge is best served hot. Now you will pay!
GERONTE (inside bag)
Wait, what was that?
I simply said, Signor,
That we will trick your enemies. What’s more,
I hope to see them neutralized. Now get
Yourself into the very bottom. Let
Yourself be still as if a stone, and do
Not make a move or risk they will see through
Our little ruse, no matter what may come!
GERONTE (pops out of bag)
I will not move a muscle!
SCAPIN (shoves him back in)
Oh! The scum
That searches for you now arrives, and he
Is out for blood!
During the following, SCAPIN goes back and forth between his own voice and a fake voice.
Now, who will humor me
And lead me to Geronte? Oh how I lust
For blood, and his will do!
(his own voice, whispering to the sack)
Signor, please trust
Me. Oh you must stay still!
Though he may be
Within the center of the Earth, I’ll see
(his own voice, whispers to bag)
Oh please stay safe in there!
The man who has a sack!
(his own voice)
What may I do
For you, Signor?
If gold is what you want,
Then tell me where to find Signor Geronte!
(his own voice)
You seek Signor Geronte?
(his own voice)
May I inquire?
(his own voice)
Intend to beat him with a stick until
(his own voice)
Oh no, Signor! You cannot kill
A Gentleman like him!
Why not? That low
And rotten scoundrel!
(his own voice)
No Signor, oh no!
You must not say such things of him. I see
Such disrespect. Now stop it!
You dare be
So cheeky with me?
(his own voice)
Well, I must insist,
As you are so revolting and persist
In slighting him!
Are you a friend of his?
This man they call Geronte?
(his own voice)
Well yes, that is
Well, isn’t that so marvelous.
Give this to him from me!
(SCAPIN uses his own voice and makes it sound as if he is getting hit as he hits GERONTE in the bag with a stick.)
Can we discuss
Your method and your message? Please Signor!
Oh ow! That hurts! Oh how I must implore
You, have compassion! Have some mercy!
Now take the message to him with great care.
Oh wait, there’s more!
(SCAPIN beats GERONTE in the bag a few more times. He uses his own voice:)
Oh no, oh ow!
(his own voice)
At last he’s gone, the vile bastard!
(GERONTE crawls out of bag in a stupor)
Cannot endure another blow…
But I was beaten worse, and I am sore
Across my shoulders—They took every blow!
How can it be I felt them all?
My back is black and blue.
And yet I felt
Each blow across my back, and they were dealt
With vigorous ambition! And I now
Still feel the sting!
I can imagine how
With each blow unto me as he drew back
It landed on you hard within the sack.
You felt it too?
If you had stepped away
A little bit and to the left…
Here comes another ruffian! Get in!
(roughly shoves GERONTE back into sack)
And this one looks so shifty!
During the following, SCAPIN goes back and forth between his own voice and a fake voice.
Such a sin
To run all over town to fester out
The pitiful Geronte! To run about
From here to there and everywhere. What for?
As he is lost, not found!
(real voice, to GERONTE in sack)
Stay hidden, or
You may regret it!
Well, hello there. Do
You know where I may find Geronte? All through
This city I have searched in vain.
Signor, I do not know.
Oh, is that so?
Now you can tell the truth to me as I
Just have a need to talk to him. Why lie?
I simply have a stick and have a sword
That need to meet his body. I am bored
And want to see if my new sword can cut
Right into him.
(real voice, as GERONTE moves in the sack)
Signor, believe me. What
I told you was the truth: He is not here!
Did I just see that sack just shake?
You must excuse me now, Signor!
(fake voice, as GERONTE shakes even more)
I saw the sack just shake again!
Could that be possible?
Then let me try
To stick my sword right through!
Well tell me why
That you would think that you could come in here
And stab a sack?
(fake voice, angry and threatening)
I say I can.
Why yes, it does appear
You can. But it is shameful.
Revealing it to you would bring me stress,
And it is so revolting you would die.
I am protecting you. I do not lie.
I say my sword and I both disagree.
Whatever you are hiding, I will see.
Oh no, you can’t!
Oh yes, I will!
It only is my laundry.
Than that? Then I shall see!
I still say no!
Oh, you say no?
Oh is that so?
Then you can feel my stick upon your back
To teach you all the manners that you lack!
Oh, go ahead and beat me. I don’t care!
(SCAPIN starts to beat him again with a stick. Switches to fake voice:)
Oh you will care when I am through! I’ll tear
The skin right off of you!
(real voice, as if he is being beaten:)
Oh, ow Signor!
That hurts, oh how it hurts! Oh please, no more!
(fake voice, as he continues beating)
Now I will say goodbye and hope that you
Have learned a lesson. Have I gotten through
Your shield of insolence?
(real voice, stops acting as if being beaten)
The cursed man
Is gone at last. I am relieved!
(GERONTE slowly crawls out of sack even more stupefied)
I crawl out of the sack when every bone
I have is broken now?
Oh, let alone
The fact that I am dying!
Tell me how I got injured?
Go back in
The sack, Signor! As half a dozen men
Are now approaching!
(violently shoves GERONTE back into sack)
During the following, SCAPIN creates many fake voices.
You must tell me when
You find him!
Seek him out! Search everywhere!
And leave no stone unturned. He might be there!
Search up and down. Tear through the town,
Each street and corner, here and there and down
The streets and up the avenues!
Oh no, that way!
That you are wrong!
No, I am right!
(SCAPIN whispers to GERONTE in his own voice)
And hide yourself!
(back to a fake voice)
Oh look, his servant! Will
You tell us, you damn rascal. Tell us please
Where we can find your master? We can squeeze
It out of you if you prefer.
I cannot do that. Please, please spare me!
(GERONTE dares to peek out of the sack and sees SCAPIN’S ruse during the following, as Scapin uses another voice:)
Now will you look at that? A touching scene!
But tell us now, or we will strike between
Your shoulder blades, and you will feel each blow!
Well, I will suffer that and more! Just know
My loyalty knows of no bounds and I
Will not betray my master. I will die!
Well as you wish. Prepare to die!
And die a loyal servant!
We will kill
You here and now!
Yet die with honor! I
Will not betray my master.
You will die!!!
(SCAPIN turns to beat GERONTE again and sees that his ruse is being observed. Geronte lunges out of the bag as SCAPIN runs off.)
Deceitful, lying scum of infamy!
How dare you do this vile thing to me?
(ZERBINETTA enters laughing. She is unaware of GERONTE, who is unaware of her)
SCENE III—ZERBINETTA GERONTE
Oh my, I really need to catch my breath!
GERONTE (calling after SCAPIN)
And I will see you punished with your death!
Oh what a most amusing story. Who
Could think a man could be so stupid to
Be so bamboozled? Oh that sad, old…
GERONTE (notices her)
Believe that you should hold your laughter. Try
To see that what amuses you could be
Considered sad by others.
Signor, what do you mean?
I mean to say
You should not laugh at me.
I ask who dares to laugh at you?
You laugh directly in my face.
Are not involved at all. I simply heard
A funny story, something so absurd
That I can only laugh. Though it may be
Because I am involved, it touches me
Most deeply. Still, I cannot hope to know
Another story half as good and so
Amusing. As you see, a mean old man
Was just now swindled by a clever plan,
And it was perpetrated by his son
To get some money out of him.
You say a son deceived his father to
Procure some money?
Yes! I say, if you
Desire all the details I will share
Them. Oh, what twists and turns in this affair!
I cannot keep it to myself or I
May burst. I love to share in laughter. Why
Not share this laugh with you?
Oh please, please do…
Well, I will do so gladly. Telling you
Is not a risk, as soon the world will know;
No secret can be truly safe. And so
It happened just like this: I was among
A band of Gypsies. As our tribe was flung
From here to there and there to here we made
Our way by telling fortunes. When we laid
Our stakes here in this city, where I met
A wonderful young man, and once he set
His eyes upon me that was that, and he
Pronounced his love. And then so charmingly
From here to there and there to here he went
Wherever I might step and was content
Believing that he merely needed to
But say one word and then with no ado
I would just faint away and simply land
Within his arms and let him take my hand.
But it is not so simple. First he had
To bargain with my tribe. And they were glad
To let him have my hand, but for a fee.
But how unfortunate for him to be
A son of one so wealthy, yet he has
No money of his own. So tragic, as
His father is a selfish skinflint. He…
Oh, I forgot his name. What can it be?
Can you help me remember? Can you name
A man notorious who has no shame
In being awful and so miserly?
I cannot say…
Oh what could his name be?
It sounds like “Ron” or “Ronte?” That rings a bell.
“Oronte?” oh no, “Geronte!” That suits him well.
A perfect name for one who is so mean
And selfish! Now, where was I? Well, between
His awful father and my tribe, we found
We were in trouble, as my tribe is bound
To leave this city any minute. So
My lover was to lose me. They will go
And take me with them if he cannot pay.
And all was lost until he turned today
To his most-clever servant. Oh Scapin
Could wrestle money from that nasty man!
His father did not know what hit him. Oh
Scapin, he is our hero!
Is that so?
The vile wretch!
(ZERBINETTA giggles at points during the following:)
But you should hear his plan!
Oh, how he duped the idiotic man!
I cannot help but laugh so heartily.
He told the stupid fool convincingly
That he was in the harbor with his son,
And there they found a ship, and then someone
Invited them aboard so graciously
And gave them wine and cheese, then stealthily
Set sail and sent the ship to sea. And so
Scapin told him he was sent back to go
And get a handsome ransom or he would
Not see his son again. Oh, this is good!
The miser, how he struggled, stuck between
His son and love of money. How obscene
That he could even struggle with it! Each
Gold piece held up to him just like a leech.
Oh how he struggled, and in vain, he tried
To think of some alternatives. He cried
That he would send police out on the sea
To walk on water to the ship. And he
Then asked Scapin to go negotiate
By trading places with his son. And wait-
As this gets even better! As you see,
Geronte had not a single thought to free
Scapin. You see how foul he is? At last,
Defeated, he surrendered. He was past
The point of fighting facts, but then he cried
Repeatedly, “Why did he go inside
The ship…why did he go inside? I will
Go hunting for that sailor and then kill
Him!” Then with hesitations, moans and cries,
Gave up his money, cursing to the skies!
Signor, you are not laughing. Can it be
You do not find it funny?
Well, you see…
I see the young man as a scoundrel who
Has disrespected his own father to
Enact a vile scheme! I guarantee
The father might just take him to his knee
And far much worse than that for his foul deed.
As for the girl, I say it’s guaranteed
The little hussy soon will get her due
For helping to concoct this nasty stew,
Insulting men of honor and their heirs
With loathsome tricks and vile dirty snares.
As for the servant, he will surely see
How scoundrels are dispatched so thoroughly.
Oh he is happy, and he had his fun,
But I will see before the setting sun
Tomorrow he is hanged!
(GERONTE exits as ZERBINETTA starts to dash off in a panic. SYLVESTER enters, blocking her way.)
SCENE IV—ZERBINETTA, SYLVESTER
Where are you running off to? Can it be
That you don’t know? The man you spoke to, he
Is your own lover’s father!
Suspecting it. But first, I told the man
His story without knowing who he was.
What do you mean, his story?
I was so full of laughter, I just had
To share it with another. I am glad
He knows, as now the truth is out. Who cares,
What’s done is done. Can all the sad affairs
Get any worse for wear?
It must have been
Compelling to go blab it all. A sin
Indeed to be so indiscreet about
One’s own affairs.
Yet it would all come out
(from offstage, we hear ARGANTE)
SCENE V—ARGANTE, ZERBINETTA, SYLVESTER
And hide in there. My master beckons.
(ZERBINETTA exits as ARGANTE enters)
SCENE VI—ARGANTE, SILVESTER
You all conspired! Did you not go make
A pact with my son and Scapin to take
My hard-earned money? And believed that I
Would be delighted by it? Just stand by
And let you get away with it?
Signor that you don’t truly mean to say
That if Scapin deceived you I would dare
To be a party to it. Oh, I swear
I did not know, not know at all.
Well we shall see, you worthless wretch! Just guess
What happens if you dare believe that I
Can be bamboozled. Go ahead and try!
SCENE VII—GERONTE, ARGANTE, SYLVESTER
Signor Argante, you find me in the throes
Of deepest trouble.
Oh, and heaven knows
I drown in deepest depths of dark despair.
That hooligan Scapin has dared to dare
To take five hundred from me!
Did he now?
That same Scapin; well let me tell you how
He took two hundred from me!
Oh I see.
He was not satisfied from fleecing me,
And so he went much further. And…oh no!
I am ashamed to say it. I will show
That rascal what is what!
How he will learn
His tricks will quickly turn around and turn
Oh he can make a mockery
Of me, but he will be surprised and see
What consequences are!
Oh how I pray
That I escape suspicion!
Oh I say,
Signor Argante, there is more tragedy
And more misfortune, more than you now see.
It seems that sadness rides in tandem. I
Was oh so thrilled and planned on seeing my
Dear daughter here today. She is the light
That guides my life, and I just heard tonight
That she left Taranto so long ago.
And there is word her ship was wrecked, and so
It seems that she is lost forever.
Had left her back in Taranto? I do
Not understand. Why wouldn’t she be here
Enjoying life with you?
It might appear
To be regretful, but necessity
Required that she stay there. As you see,
I had a secret second marriage, and
I had to keep here there, you understand.
But who is this I see?
SCENE VIII—ARGANTE, GERONTE, NERINE, SYLVESTER
Nerine? What are
You doing here, you worthless nurse?
We’ve come, Signor Pandolphe…
Don’t use that name!
I am Signor Geronte. As when I came
Here, that name was retired. When I was
In Taranto, it was of use because
Of reasons that I will not mention…
What troubles that has caused me! Do you know
How hard it was to find you?
Tell me where
My daughter is. I left her in your care!
And tell me where he mother is.
Your daughter is not far from here. But be
Prepared for me to beg forgiveness. I
Was forced to let her wed a man. Please try
To understand we were most destitute.
And I had lost all hope in my pursuit
My daughter married?
Signor, the kindest man became her groom.
A young man named Octavio. And he
Is sired from the finest family.
He is the son of one Signor Argante.
What a twist of fate, Geronte!
Well, take us to her quickly!
She is here
Within this house!
How can she be so near?
Now lead the way and we shall follow you.
Well, come along Signor Geronte!
(ARGANTE, GERONTE and NERINE exit as SCAPIN slinks in)
Believe we’ve had a miracle!
SCENE IX—SCAPIN, SYLVESTER
Well, how are things progressing?
You should know
Just two small things. Well, first: You must not fret
About Octavio. He is all set
For future happiness. And secondly:
It seems that Hyacintha seems to be
The daughter of Signor Geronte! By chance,
It seems that both their fathers’ forced romance
Has come to pass all by itself. And oh!
Just one more thing: It seems that they are so
Disgusted with you that they seek to kill
You with enthusiasm. And it will
Most likely come upon you from the hand
Attached to old Geronte. You understand
That he is quite inspired.
Oh who cares!
As he is like an angry dog who bares
His teeth but never bites. Just like the air
Or clouds, they all blow over.
Well take care.
The sons may reconcile all their sins
And hang you out to dry!
And yet who wins
This game most every time? Just watch as I
Go soothe and smooth this over…
You can try,
But do it later. Here they come!
(SCAPIN exits. Enter GERONTE, ARGANTE, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTA and NERINE)
SCENE X—GERONTE, ARGANTE, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTE, NERINE, SYLVESTER
My daughter; welcome to my home! But how
I do regret your mother is not here.
And now we see Octavio appear
And at the perfect time.
SCENE XI—ARGANTE, GERONTE, OCTAVIO, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTA, NERINE, SYLVESTER
Come here, my son,
And join me, and rejoice with everyone.
We celebrate your marriage that was made
Your proposals must be stayed,
My Father. As I openly refuse,
As I already wed, or do you choose
To not accept that fact?
I do. But you
The time to talk is through.
But see, the daughter of Geronte…
His daughter is quite foolish if she dares
No Father, I
Believe that you should hold your breath. Why try
Convincing one so resolute?
Oh hush, Sylvester! I am sick of these
Pathetic pleas, and I won’t listen!
No father, let my life be done
Should I forsake my sweet Hyacintha.
(he crosses to HYACINTHA)
All your commandments are in vain. As the
Possessor of my heart is here, and she
Will be my one and only wife.
Yet she is who I want for you. I say
You are impossible. Just see the way
You rant and rave so loud you cannot hear
The words you wait for!
Yes, it does appear
Our troubles are now over. I have found
My father once again.
We should be bound
For home so we can rest ourselves and be
Refreshed while catching up.
But father, see
This sweet and charming girl. I cannot bear
To part with her, as she is very fair
In looks and in her heart. And may I say
That you are sure to love her too.
Would I be welcoming to her, as she
Both dares to steal my son and throw at me
The foulest, most revolting insults!
Signor, forgive me for the shameful way
I spoke of you. Because I did not know
That it was you, so I could only go
By all the slander people speak of you.
What slander are they speaking?
Believe me when I say that she is pure
Of heart and virtuous, and I am sure
The love my brother has for her is true.
Well, that is well and good. But can you do
This: Tell me how you think I might permit
A guttersnipe to be considered fit
To wed my son?
SCENE XII—ARGANTE, GERONTE, LEANDER, OCTAVIO, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTA, SYLVESTER, NERINE
But Father, you can’t say
The one I love is most unworthy. May
I now inform you how I just found out
That she is not an orphan? Have no doubt,
As I was just informed from those I got
Her from; yes they confirmed that she is not
A foundling. She was kidnapped by them. She
Was taken from an honest family
Right here within this city. And they tore
Her from the family house when she was four.
She had a bracelet that they gave me. Here
It is so we can trace her family.
God! This bracelet tells me she is my
Own daughter, lost when she was four. Oh I
Just know it!
She’s your daughter?
I am sure!
Look at her features, beautiful and pure.
Oh it is her, I know it! Oh my dear,
Just see what wonders may appear!
SCENE XIII—ARGANTE, GERONTE, LEANDRE, OCTAVIO, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTA, SYLVESTER, NERINE, CARLOS
Oh gentlemen, I fear a tragedy
Has just commenced within.
What could it be?
Oh poor Scapin!
That bastard? He will die,
And by my hand!
Signor, you need not try.
As I am sad to say he was outside
And walked along a building when he spied
A workman’s hammer falling down. It hit
Him on the head and broke his skull and split
His head apart. And now he slowly dies,
Yet only called to see you through his cries:
His final wish.
(SCAPIN is brought on with his head wrapped in a very melodramatic fashion)
SCENE XIV—ARGANTE, GERONTE, LEANDRE, OCTAVIO, HYACINTHA, ZERBINETTA, SYLVESTER, NERINE, CARLOS
Oh my Signors! You see
My sorry state. Forgive me! I must be
A sight indeed. Although I soon will die,
I cannot rest my soul until I try
To beg forgiveness for the dastardly
Behavior that I perpetrated. Be
Forgiving, how I beg you good Signors.
Oh gentlemen, my sorry heart just pours
Regret for all my actions.
Let me say,
You are forgiven. Go in peace.
I beg of you Signor Geronte to be
Forgiving though I hurt you thoroughly
With sticks and sheer deception.
Let it go
As all is now forgiven.
Still, I know
The wounds I gave you run so deep, each bruise…
I said forget it!
…All those blacks and blues
Upon your aged skin…
Oh say no more!
I say that I forgive you!
How I tore
The skin right off of you, yet here you are,
So full of true forgiveness flowing far
Beyond the scope of any human heart…
Don’t mention it again, I mean it! Start
Believing I forgive you, please!
I must believe it, and I now can die
If you should live,
Then you must know that I will not forgive
That is the bargain. You
The sharpest pain is running through
My brain down to my toenails!
Oh, I say
That we forgive him. Let him pass away
With no obstructions.
Oh I think…I think…
(ALL bend their ear in to hear his decision)
He is forgiven.
Let raise a drink
And dine together, celebrating all
The happiness we have.
I will sit tall
Right at the table’s head, and I shall be
The guest of honor, supping happily
And dine with wine and celebrate you all
And wait for death to dare to come to call.