Once a great magician and wizard Durandarte came to the city of Serendip. The king of this city, Deramo, received the guest with an unprecedented luxury and courtesy, for which the grateful wizard left him with a gift of two amazing magical secrets.
No matter how powerful Durandarte was, according to the judgment of the god fairy Demogorgon, he had to turn to Parrot, and the faithful servant Chigolotti carried him to the Ronchislap forest not far from Serendippa. However, at the right time, Durandarte promised to appear, in order to punish the betrayal caused by one of his wonderful gifts.
King Deramo is not married. At one time he interrogated two thousand seven hundred and forty-eight princesses and noble maidens in a secret office, but none of them wished to see his queen. Now the cunning first Minister Tartaglia has sung to him that the people are dissatisfied with the absence of the heir to the throne, there may be excitement… The king agreed to arrange a new test, to which this time the girls of all classes were admitted.
Tartaglia is pleased that Deramo heeded his arguments, for he expects his daughter Clarice to be the queen. By lot, she was the first to go to the secret room, but Clarice is not at all pleased and asks her father to rid her of the test – she loves Leandro, the son of the second minister, Pantalone, and besides, she does not want to run across her best friend, her sister Leandro Angela, without a mind in love with the
Angela, too, does not want to pass the test in a secret office, but she has her own reasons. She is sure that the king will reject her and her love, and she will not survive such shame and humiliation. Father, Pantalone, and glad to save Angela from the difficult procedure for her, but this, alas, is not in his power.
Another candidate for the hand and heart is the butler’s sister, Smeraldina. This person does not shine with the beauty and subtlety of dealing, but she is completely confident of success – in fact, well, who can resist her luxurious attire in oriental taste and the place of the twisted verses of Tacco and Ariosto? Smeraldin is so alien to the doubt in victory that she resolutely and irrevocably rejects her old lover – the royal truffo Truffaldino.
Many tried to understand what the meaning of the test was, but in vain, for no one except Deramo knew about the miraculous gift of the magician Durandarte, hidden in the study, a magical statue unmistakably exposing the lies and hypocrisy of women.
The Clarice speech addressed to the Deramo speech is sincere until, in response to the king’s question, if her heart is already given to someone else, she does not answer “no”. Then it starts to build up grimaces, and Deramo realizes that the girl is lying.
When Smeraldina enters the office, her first words make the statue writhe with laughter. The self-confident person even faints from the supposedly overwhelming feelings; it endures.
What is the king’s amazement when, throughout his long conversation with Angela, the statue does not move a muscle. Touched by the sincerity of her words about his love for him, Deramo summons the courtiers and solemnly declares Angela his bride. In order to make it clear how he chose it from hundreds of others, the king tells the courtiers about the wonderful gift of Durandarte, and then, in order to avoid temptations, personally breaks the statue.
Pantalone is filled with gratitude to the ruler for the honor accorded to his daughter. Tartaglia, though it builds a happy mine, feels in his heart infernal rage and feels ready for any atrocities.
Tartaglia blasphemes Clarice for what she revealed to the King her love for Leandro and thus did not allow her father to become a royal father-in-law and at the same time destroyed her, Tartaglia, dreams of marrying Angela. But still the wily minister hopes that not everything is lost for him, and therefore, in response to Angela and Leandro’s requests, to bless their union persuades young people to wait a little.
As soon as he left the temple, where he married with Angela, Deramo arranged a merry royal hunt in the Ronchislap forest. And so they find themselves in a solitary place together with Tartaglia, who conceived the evil: to kill the king, to take the city and force to marry Angela. Only chance prevents him from shooting Deramo in the back.
Being a shrewd man, Deramo remarks that something is going wrong with his minister, and directly asks Tartagle what he is not happy with. In response, the crafty courtier agrees to complain that, despite thirty years of faithful service, the king does not consider him worthy of his full trust – for example, at least did not tell about the wonderful gifts of Durandarte.
Kind-hearted Deramo, wishing to console Tartaglia, tells him about the second of the gifts of the magician hell spell. He who reads this spell over the body of a dead beast or man will die, and his spirit will move into a lifeless body; the same magic words allow a person to return to their former shell. In words Tartaglia is very much grateful to the king, but in fact his head has already matured devilish plan.
When Deramo and Tartaglia happen to kill two deer, the minister persuades the king to demonstrate the effect of the spell. Deramo pronounces it, moves into the body of a deer and runs into the forest. Tartaglia repeats the curse over the lifeless body of the king – and now he is not the first minister, but the monarch. Own corpse Tartaglia decapitates and throws into the bushes, and behind the deer King equips the chase. The peasant he met, unfortunately, did not see any deer, for which he receives a bullet from a ferocious Tartal and dies on the spot. The courtiers are amazed at the change that has occurred with their noble lord, his spitefulness and rudeness of speeches, but of course they can not suspect forgery.
Until tears, she is struck by the change in her husband and Angela, to whom Tartaglia, having returned from a hunt, approaches with her love. The ignorant impostor is somewhat discouraged, but I am sure that in time everything will settle down.
Truffaldino, meanwhile, finds in the forest the headless body of Tartaglia and brings to the palace the news of the murder of the first minister. Tartaglia uses the opportunity to give vent to his wild temper and orders to throw all those who participated in the hunt in prison.
In the woods of Truffaldino, not only the corpse of Tartaglia got caught, but also the speaking Parrot. The magician Durandarte – and it was he who – went into the hands of the hunter and, moreover, advised him to take himself to the palace of the queen – that supposedly generously rewarded Truffaldino for such a rare game.
Deramo, having left the chase, stumbles upon the body of the old man killed by Tartaglia and decides that it is better for him to live, even in a non-presentable, but human form, rather than in the body of a deer. He pronounces the spell and turns to the old peasant.
Truffaldino brings Parrot to the queen, but, contrary to the expectations of the adept, Angela does not put a pile of gold behind him for the bird. Angela’s heart is dismayed and melancholy, so she asks Truffaldino to retire, and when he begins to persist, even – that it is so unlike her – threatens to throw him out of the balcony. While they are arguing, a guard appears and, in execution of Tartaglia’s order, grabs Truffaldino and drags him into the dungeon.
Deramo in the image of the old man still penetrates into his palace and, seizing the moment, talks with Angela. That first comes in horror, mixed, however, with embarrassment – after all, as ugly as an old man, he speaks in her husband’s voice. Deramo tries to convince Angela that he is he. In the old man’s speeches the queen gradually recognizes the loftiness of thought and feeling, which was always peculiar to the king; finally her doubts are dispelled when Deramo recalls the morning tender conversation between them. Now that Angela has confessed to the ugly old man of the king, they together figure out how to return Deramo his former appearance and punish the meanest first minister.
Some time later, having met Tartaglia, Angela pretends that she is about to change her attitude to him and reciprocate – for this there is not enough small. Tartaglia is ready to fulfill all that she asks: orders Pantalone and Brighella to be released from prison, bless Clarice and Leandro… The third request of Angela is to show the effect of the Durandarte spell and to settle into a dead deer – Tartaglia promises to respect only after that, as the Queen will make him happy with his caresses. This is not included in the plans of Angelo and Deramo; the girl rests, Tartalia drags her to the back rooms with force.
Unable to bear such a spectacle, Deramo comes out of hiding and rushes to Tartal. He already raises the sword on the king, when suddenly the buzz of an earthquake is heard – this magician Durandarte drops bird feathers and appears in his present guise.
With the touch of a wizard, the sorcerer returns to Deramo his former appearance, and Tartaglia, having exposed his meanness and treachery, turns an ugly horned monster. In a rage and despair, Tartaglia pleads to be shot on the spot, but at Durandarte’s will he will die not from a bullet, but from the pain of shame and shame.
Not immediately passes stupefying, which amazed everyone who saw the miracles of Durandarte. But now, when betrayal is punished and justice has triumphed, it’s time to begin preparations for a merry wedding feast.