R. B. Sheridan
The action takes place in Spain, where rich fathers specifically hire evil duennies to look after their young daughters and strictly abridge their morality. This is exactly how Don Geronimo, the father of the beautiful Luisa, acted. However, he grossly made a mistake in his calculations…
Night. Don Don Antonio, a wealthy nobleman, came to the house of Don Jerónimo to sing the serenade of Luis. The master of the house drives the fan with a rough swearing, and when the daughter tries to intercede for the young man whom she loves, she gets it. Antonio remains alone in the street. Soon he sees the returning from the city of Fernando – his friend and brother Luisa. Fernando in desperation – he tried to penetrate into the bedroom of his lover Clara, to agree with her about the escape plan, but was disgraced by a capricious girl. But time does not wait – father and stepmother decided today to imprison Clara in a monastery, so that she does not claim to family wealth. Antonio is also not himself: Don Jerónimo has already found Louis rich groom – some Jewish merchant from Portugal. He asks a friend to help him marry Luis. Fernando promises help, with one caveat: “There should be no kidnapping”, as this will damage the honor of the family. “But you yourself were going to kidnap Clara,” reminds Antonio, surprised. “This is another matter,” he hears back, “We do not allow
At this time, Louis is preparing to escape. She is helped by Margarita duenja. Instead of obstructing and vigilantly following every step of Luis, this atypical duenna became the attorney of lovers and decided to rebel against the old tyrant Don Jeronimo. True, the escape failed not immediately. Having caught Luis and Marguerite at the scene of the crime for gatherings, Don Jerónimo starts with anger and immediately throws out the duen from the house with indignant words: “There, shameless Sibyl!” Duenna goes into the bedroom to bid farewell to Luisa, and soon she proudly leaves, putting a veil on her face. Don Geronimo continues to resent her. When he finally leaves, Margarita appears from the bedroom. It turns out that she quickly changed with Louis’s clothes, and the girl managed to slip out of the house under a veil.
On the square of Sevilla there are two fugitives – Clara and Luis. Girlfriends, recognizing each other under fancy dress, hug and discuss their situation. Clara is going to hide in the monastery of St. Catalina while under the protection of her relative-abbess. After telling Louise the address of the monastery for Fernando, she leaves. Luis also intends to find Antonio first. Having seen Isaac Mendoza, his Portuguese bridegroom walking along the square, the girl decides to use him as a liaison. The fact is that Louis saw the Portuguese in the crack, when Mendoza came to her father to mate, he himself had never seen his bride. Luis calls him, is called dona Clara and begs to help her meet her lover. Flattered by her trust, a swaggering businessman promises all sorts of assistance and offers his own home as a refuge. Isaac Mendoza comes officially to meet his fiancee Luisa. At first he gladly tells Don Jeronimo that he met running away from home with donja Clara, who is looking for Antonio. Proud that his own daughter does not allow himself such insolence, Don Jerónimo leaves the groom alone in front of Luisa’s bedroom.
The bride goes out. Isaac, without looking at her from shyness, utters incoherent love confessions. At last he raises his eyes and stiffens. He was convinced that Luisa was beautiful, but it turned out that she was old and ugly! “Oh my God, to what blind parents are!” the unfortunate fiancé mumbles. (We remember that the role of Luisa is now played by the inventive duenya Margarita.) A comic dialogue is taking place. Mendoza decides, in spite of everything, to marry the “Luis”, since he is primarily attracted to her dowry. “What happiness,” he reflects, “is that my feelings are directed at her property, and not at her person!” Duenna takes the word from him to arrange her abduction, because she allegedly vowed not to take her husband from the hands of her despotic father. Mendoza promises to fulfill her request.
In his father’s office in the meantime, Fernando tries to ask for a friend, painting his generosity, honesty and an ancient family. However, Don Jerónimo is adamant. “Valor without a condition, my dear, is as ridiculous as a gold embroidery on a frieze caftan,” he cuts off. Isaac Mendoza enters. When Don Jeronimo inquires how the meeting with the bride was held, the bride honestly responds that “the ugliest woman did not meet the girl.” The father and brother do not find out the indignation of the words and are ready to grab for the swords. Afraid of their reaction, Mendoza hurries to give his words for a joke. He says that he got on completely with Luisa and now she is submissive to her father’s will. Fernando is disappointed with this turn of things, don Jerónimo – satisfied. He invites the groom to celebrate collusion with a glass of wine.
A surprised Antonio meanwhile lead to the house of Mendoza, convincing that he is looking for… Dona Clara. What is his joy when he finds Louis here! Left alone with her lover, the girl informs him that while she is absent in the monastery of St. Catalina, she will write a letter to her father asking for permission to marry.
Don Geronimo is extremely surprised by the strange whim of his daughter: she fled with Mendoza, that is, with the same man for whom the father was going to marry her. “It’s just incomprehensible!” At this time the servants give him one by one two letters – one from Mendoza, the other from Luisa. In both, the request is to be forgiven for fleeing and blessing for a marriage of love. Don Geronimo growls good-naturedly, continuing to wonder how quickly the mood of his daughter changes. “No further than in the morning she was ready to die rather than marry him…”
In order to calm the poor Luis’s heart, he writes an answer, expressing his consent to her marriage – but does not specify with whom, because he is sure that she is talking about the Portuguese. Having sent a letter with the servant, Don Jeronimo orders to arrange a richest dinner in honor of the joyous event.
And his son, Don Fernando, who was off his feet in search of the disappeared Clara, at this time, collides in the square with Mendoza. He hears the Portuguese mutter: “Now Antonio can marry Clara or not marry…” Fernando, dumbfounded, steps on the merchant with questions, and he confesses that he connected Antonio and “Dona Clara.” “Death and madness,” exclaims the jealous lover, continuing to elicit details. He threatens to pierce Mendoza with a sword, if he does not reveal where the “traitors” went. A frightened businessman calls the monastery of St. Catalina and hurries to retreat from the frenzied Fernando. The same, boiling with anger, eager to take revenge on the beloved and best friend for treason. The action is transferred to the monastery garden, where Luis and Clara are walking in monastic robes. Clara admits, that he was not angry with Fernando and was ready to forgive him. When Antonio appears, Clara leaves the lovers alone. Antonio tells Luis that she expects nothing from her trickery with a letter to her father. Louis understands his doubts, but prudently notices that in poverty, the most sincere feeling is often lost. “If we want to make love our home god, we must try to provide him with comfortable habitation.”
At this time, Don Jeronimo responds. Louis reads it aloud, not believing his own eyes: “Dear daughter, make happy your beloved, I express full agreement…”, etc. Antonio re-reads the letter, confident that this is some kind of mistake. So he urges Luis to marry him, so that her father can not back out of his word. After their departure, an angry Fernando appears. Having met Clara in a cassock and veil, he does not recognize her and only wondered where Clara and Antonio. The girl says that they went to get married. Cursing the sky, Fernando gives the floor to upset this wedding.
Pablo’s father is simultaneously asked to perform the wedding ceremony of two fiancés – Antonio and Mendoza. For urgency, both knowingly put money in his pocket. When Fernando appears in the courtyard of the cathedral, Mendoza, already familiar with his hot temper, hastily escapes. But in turn, there are Dona Luis and Dona Clara. They throw off the veil, and the misunderstanding finally becomes clear to the general joy. Fernando is happy. He apologizes to everyone for being blinded by jealousy and suspected a friend of treachery, and favorite in treason. Two pairs follow the holy father to immediately marry. “Often he hears Hymen of magnificent oaths a false ring, but he rewards the faithful with the bliss of bright days,” the choir sings.
Don Geronimo bustles before the solemn dinner. And here is his new son-in-law Isaac Mendoza. The master rushes to him with embraces, wondering where Louis is. Mendoza proudly replies that she is outside the door and longs for blessings. “Poor child, how I will be happy to see her lovely face,” – hurries up Don Jeronimo to meet his daughter. However, a few seconds before him appears not the beauty of Luis. “Why, it’s me, kill me, old Margarita!” exclaims the astonished Don Jeronimo. There is a quarrel at which the duenna persistently calls the former owner an expensive daddy. The appearing of Luisa and Antonio reinforce the general confusion. Finally, the duenna admits that she has arranged this whole comedy in retaliation for the violence against her mistress. Now she herself became the legitimate wife of Mendoza, and the self-serving Portuguese has nothing left, how to submit to fate. “There is nothing more contemptible and funnier than a rogue who fell victim to his own tricks,” notes Antonio.
Don to Jeronim revealed the truth – Mendoza was attracted only to Luisa’s dowry, otherwise he would never have been immersed in a person with the appearance of the old duen. Now the father of the family is already looking at the modest Antonio with different eyes. Moreover, the young man declares that he does not claim wealth. Thus, he finally conquers the heart of the old man.
The last phenomenon is another happy newlywed couple, Clara and Fernando. Don Horoniemo admits that his son married a charming young lady, and also a wealthy heiress. In short, the occasion for a gala dinner remains. And since everything is ready for this, the fun starts. The house is filled with friends and neighbors, the night begins with dancing, singing and wine.
I dear guests of the
Lesson of fun ladies.
Came to all Wine, and dance, and laughter,
time of pleasures –
– sings the joyful Don Horonimo, and with it all the characters.