The affairs of Count Anselmo Terraciani more or less recovered when he, neglecting a class pride, married his only son Giacinto in Doradice, the daughter of the rich Venetian merchant Pantalone dei Bisogniosi, who gave her twenty thousand dowry scanties. This amount could form the basis of the welfare of the count’s house, when its lion’s share was not wasted by Anselmo to his favorite entertainment – the collecting of antiquities; he became literally irresponsible at the sight of Roman medals, fossils and other things of that kind. At the same time Ansedmo did not understand anything in ancient antiquities kindly to him, than any rascals used, selling him for a lot of money a variety of trash nobody wanted.
With his head absorbed in his studies, Anselmo only brushed aside the boring problems of everyday life, but there were enough of them. In addition to the constant shortage of money, a day from the day that spoiled the blood of all household members, it so happened that from the very beginning the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law disliked each other. Countess Isabella could not reconcile herself to the fact that her noble offspring, for the sake of the miserable twenty thousand, had married a commoner, a merchant; However, when it came to the question of the redemption of her precious jewels, the Countess did not disdain to use the merchant’s money.
Doraliche, for her part, was indignant that out of all the dowry she herself had not spent any scant, so that now she could not even get out of the house-she could not be shown to people in a dress like a servant’s. Her husband, the young Count Giacinto, she vainly asked to somehow influence the father-in-law with his mother-in-law – he was very fond of her, but was too soft and respectful to be able to impose his will on parents. Giacinto timidly tried to reconcile his wife with his mother, but without any success.
The mad power of the Countess Doraliche was opposed by the murderous cold composure, her mother-in-law punctuated her daughter-in-law with her nobility, and her dowry. The hostility between Isabella and Doradiche was also warmed up by the maid of Columbine. She got angry at the young lady for the slap she received from her, refusing to call the signora – they say, they are equal, both from the merchant class, and it does not matter that her father was peddling, and dad Doraliche is in the shop. For the gossip about her sister-in-law, Colombina occasionally received gifts from the countess, and in order to rip up Isabella, she herself often invented mucks about her, allegedly allegedly Doraliche.
The oils were also poured into the fire by the countesses of the Countess – gentlemen, who, out of pure devotion, rendered services to a married lady. One of them, the old doctor, stoically took away the whims of Isabella and indulged her absolutely in everything, including in anger at her daughter-in-law. The second, Cavalier del Bosco, however, soon made a bet on the younger and more attractive Doradic and turned to her.
Brighella, blown away by Anselmo, quickly realized that it was possible to make good money on the owner’s whims. His friend and fellow countryman Harlequin, he dressed as an Armenian, and together they foisted on the count of a certain object issued by them for the inextinguishable lamp from the tomb in the Egyptian pyramid. The venerable Pantalone instantly recognized in her the most ordinary kitchen lamp, but the collector flatly refused to believe him.
At Pantalone, his heart bleed with blood – he was ready to do everything, so that his beloved only daughter lived well in a new family. He begged Doradic to be softer, kinder with his mother-in-law and, in order to at least temporarily stop skirmishes on the basis of money, gave her a purse with half a hundred meager. As a result of general diplomatic efforts, it seemed that a truce between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law had been reached, and the latter even agreed to first greet Isabella, but she also remained true to herself: bowing with her, she explained this gesture of goodwill to the young girl’s duty towards the old woman.
Having acquired money, Doraliche decided to buy herself an ally in the person of Columbine, which was not difficult-she had to offer her twice the salary she received from Countess Isabella. Colombina immediately with pleasure began to water the old signor with the dirt, while, really, not wanting to miss the additional income, she and Isabella continued to talk nastiness about Doralich. Cavalier del Bosco, although gratuitously, also offered Doralic his services and shamelessly flattered her that the girl was not so much useful as just pleasant.
Brighella, meanwhile, went into the taste and decided to inflate Anselmo in a big way: he told the owner that the famous antiquarian, Captain Sarakka, had been ruined, and therefore he had to sell a collection collected in twenty years for nothing. Brighella promised Anselmo to get her for some three thousand scanties, and he enthusiastically gave the servant a deposit and sent it to the seller.
Throughout the conversation with Brigella, Anselmo reverently held in his hands the priceless folio – the book of the peace treaties of Athens with Sparta, written by... Demosthenes himself. The instant Pantalone, unlike the earl, knew Greek and tried to explain to him that this is just a collection of songs that young people sing to Corfu, but his explanations were convinced by the antiquary only in the fact that the Greek Pantalone did not know.
However, Pantalone did not come to the count for academic conversations, but in order to arrange a family reconciliation with him, he already persuaded both women to meet in the living room. Anselmo reluctantly agreed to be present, and then retired to his antiquities. When Pantalone was left alone, the case helped him to expose the scammers who had inflated the count: Harlequin decided not to share with Brighella, act at his own risk and brought in an old shoe for sale. Pantalone, who named himself Anselmo and the same as the one who was a lover of antiquity, he tried to foist it under the guise of the same shoe that Nero kicked Poppey, pushing her off the throne. Caught red-handed. The Harlequin told all about Brighella’s tricks and promised to repeat his words in the presence of Anselmo.
Finally, my mother-in-law with her daughter-in-law managed to reduce in one room, but both of them, as expected, appeared in the living room accompanied by gentlemen. Without any malice, but only by stupidity and wishing to be pleasing to their ladies, the doctor and the cavalier del Bosco worked hard to encourage women who, without fail, constantly let out to each other various taunts and rudeness. None of them did not heed the eloquence, the squandered Pantalone and who undertook to help him Giacinto.
Anselmo, no matter how he was the father of the family, was sitting with an absent look, for he could only think of Captain Sarakk’s swim in his hands. When Brighella finally returned, he rushed headlong to look at the riches he had brought, without waiting for the family council to end. Pantalone here could no longer tolerate, spat and also retired.
Count Anselmo was in complete ecstasy, considering the good, worthy to decorate the assembly of any monarch and got him for only three thousand. Pantalone, as always, was determined to put an end to the Count’s antiquarian delight, but only this time Pancrazio, a recognized connoisseur of antiquities, was trusted with him. This same Pancrazio and opened his eyes to the true value of the newly acquired treasures: the shells found, according to Brighella, high up in the mountains, turned out to be simple shells of oysters thrown out by the sea; petrified fish – stones, which were slightly traversed by a chisel, then to fool the gullible; a collection of adept mummies was nothing more than boxes with gutted and dried corpses of kittens and puppies. In short, Anselmo threw all his money into the wind. At first he did not want to believe,
With the inspection of the collection was over, and Pantalone offered Anselmo to think finally about family affairs. The Count readily promised to contribute to appeasement in every possible way, but to begin with, it was absolutely necessary for him to occupy ten planets at the Pantaloon. He gave, thinking that the case, while Anselmo, this money was required to purchase genuine lifetime portraits of Petrarch and Madonna Laura.
Cavaliers meanwhile made another attempt to reconcile the mother-in-law with the daughter-in-law – as might be expected, stupid and unsuccessful; Colombina, fed by the enmity between the two women, did everything to exclude the slightest possibility of reconciliation. Pantalone watched this crazy house and decided it was time to take everything into his own hands. He went to Ansedmo and offered free to take on the role of managing the count’s property and to improve his affairs. Anselmo immediately agreed, especially since after the fraud of Brighella, who had fled with money from Palermo, he was on the verge of total ruin. In order to get Pantalone to manage, the count had to sign one paper, which without batting an eye and did.
Once again, having brought together all the household members and friends at home, Pantalone solemnly read out the document signed by Earl Anselmo. Its essence boiled down to the following: from now on all count’s incomes come to the full disposal of Pantalone dei Bisognosi; Pantalone agrees to supply all members of the family with supplies and dress in equal measure; Anselmo stands out a hundred scant a year to replenish the collection of antiquities. The manager was also entrusted with the care of maintaining peace in the family, in the interests of which the signora, who wants to have a permanent chevalier for services, will have to settle in the village; daughter-in-law and mother-in-law undertake to live on different floors of the house; Colombina leaves.
It was gratifying to note that Isabella and Doralice unanimously agreed with the last two points and even without quarrel decided who to live on the first floor, to whom – on the second. However, even for the ring with diamonds, Pantalone suggested that the first will embrace and kiss the other, neither the mother-in-law nor the daughter-in-law agreed to sacrifice pride.
But in general Pantalone was pleased: his daughter was no longer threatened by poverty, and the evil world, after all, is better than a good quarrel.