“The criminal mother” Beaumarchais in summary

Paris, the end of 1790

From the conversation of Figaro, the valet of the Spanish nobleman, Count Almaviva, and his wife Suzanne, the Countess’s first maid, it is clear that since the eldest son of the count died, a scoundrel raving, a black shadow fell on the whole family. The count is gloomy and gloomy all the time, his youngest son, Leon, he hates, and the Countess can hardly stand it. Moreover, he is going to exchange all his possessions.

To all the guilt of Bejars, an insidious Irishman, who was a secretary when he was acting as ambassador. This cunning schemer “mastered all family secrets,” lured the count from Spain to France, where “everything is upside down,” hoping to quarrel with his wife, marry their Florestine pupil and take possession of the count’s condition. Honoré Bejars is a “low-soul man, a hypocrite who pretends to be honest and noble,” Figaro calls him “Honore-Tartuffe.” Bejars is masterly

master of the art of sowing dissension under the guise of the most loyal friendship and taking advantage of it.

But Figaro, a Sevillian barber who has passed through a harsh school of life, a man endowed with an acute mind and a strong character, knows the true value of the deceiver and is determined to bring it to the surface. Knowing that Bejars has a certain propensity for Suzanne, he tells her to “coax him, not to deny him anything” and report on every step he takes. To increase Bejars’ confidence in Suzanne, Figaro and his wife act out a scene of a violent quarrel with him.

What are the plans for the new Tartuffe and what are the obstacles to their implementation? The main obstacle is love. The Count still loves his wife, Rosina, and she still has influence over him. And Leon and Florestine love each other, and the Countess encourages this affection. So, you need to remove the countess, finally quarreling with her husband, and make it impossible to marry Leon and Florestina, and so that everything happens as if without Bezhars. Earl suspects that the countess, who has always “been

a woman of moral integrity, a zealous piety and therefore enjoyed universal respect,” twenty years ago, betrayed him with the former page of Count Leon Astorg, nicknamed Cherubino, who “had the audacity to fall in love with the countess.” The jealous suspicions of the Count are based on the fact that when he was appointed viceroy to Mexico, his wife decided to spend three years of his absence in the seedy castle of Astorga, and nine or ten months after the count’s departure, he produced a boy. In the same year, Cherubino died in the war. Leon is very similar to Cherubino, and in addition to everything he is superior to the deceased heir: he is “a model for his peers, he enjoys universal respect,” he can not be reproached in anything. Jealousy for the past and hatred for Leon broke out in the Earl’s heart after the death of his eldest son, because now Leon became the heir of his name and fortune. He is sure that Leon is not his son, but he has no evidence of his wife’s betrayal. He decides to covertly replace his portrait on the Countess’s bracelet with a portrait of Cherubino and see how the Countess will take it. But Bejars has much more convincing evidence. These are letters from Cherubino to the Countess. Bejars himself gave her these letters and read them many times with the countess. They are stored in a casket with a hidden bottom, which he himself ordered for the countess, along with the jewels. At the request of Bejars, Suzanne, remembering the decree of Figaro, does not refuse anything to him, he brings a casket. When the count replaces one bracelet with another, Bejars, pretending that he wants to prevent this, as it accidentally opens the secret compartment, and the count sees the letters. Now the evidence of betrayal is in his hands. “Oh, treacherous Rosina, because, despite all my windiness, I was one to her…” – exclaims the earl. He still has one letter, and the rest he asks Bejars to put in his place. Left alone, the Count reads Rosina’s letter to Cherubino and the page’s answer on the reverse side. He understands that being unable to cope with a crazy passion, the young page mastered the countess forcibly, that the countess was heavily repenting of the involuntary crime and that her command to not see her any more forced the unfortunate Cherubino to seek death in battle. The last lines of the page’s answer are written with blood and blurred with tears. “No, these are not villains, not monsters – these are just unfortunate madmen,” the earl admits with pain, but does not change the decision to give Florestine for Bezhars’s devoted friend, giving her a huge dowry. So, the first part of the plan Bejars is completed, and he immediately starts to perform the second. Left alone with Florestina – joyful, just congratulated the beloved on the day of the angel, full of hopes for happiness – he declares to her that the count is her father, and Leon is a brother. In a stormy explanation with Leon, who, upon learning from Figaro that Florestine was promised by Count Bejars, is ready to grab the sword, Bejars, playing offended dignity, reveals to him the same “secret”. The invulnerable hypocrite so perfectly plays his usual role of the Guardian about the common good that Leon with tears of repentance and gratitude rushes to his neck and promises not to disclose the “fatal mystery”. And Bejars leads the Count to a wonderful idea: to give to the escorted Leon, who must depart for Malta, Figaro. He dreams of getting rid of Figaro, because “this cunning beast” costs him across the road. who must depart for Malta, Figaro. He dreams of getting rid of Figaro, because “this cunning beast” costs him across the road. who must depart for Malta, Figaro. He dreams of getting rid of Figaro, because “this cunning beast” costs him across the road.

Now the Countess remains, who must not only reconcile with the marriage of Bejars to Florestine, but also persuade the girl to marry. The Countess, who is accustomed to seeing a faithful friend in Bejars, complains of her husband’s cruelty towards her son. Twenty years she spent “in tears and repentance,” and now the son suffers for her sin. Bejars assures the countess that the mystery of the birth of Leon is unknown to her husband, that he is so gloomy and wants to remove his son only because he sees how love blossoms, which he can not bless, for Florestina is his daughter. The countess on her knees thanks God for her unexpected mercy. Now she has something to forgive her husband, Florestina becomes even more expensive, and her marriage to Bejars is the best way out. Bejars forces the Countess to burn Cherubino’s letters so that she does not notice the loss of one of them,

How he triumphs, left alone! It seems to him that he is already “half-count of Almaviva.” But one more step is necessary. The scoundrel is afraid that the count is too vulnerable to the influence of his wife to dispose of the state, as Bezhars would have liked. To remove the countess, you need to quickly provoke a major scandal, especially since the count, delighted by the “spiritual greatness” with which the countess accepted the news about the marriage of Florestine and Bejars, is inclined to reconciliation with his wife. Bejars pushes Leon to ask his mother to intercede for him before his father. Florestina does not want to marry Bezhars at all, but she is ready to sacrifice herself for the good of “brother”. Leon resigned himself to the idea that Florestine is lost to him, and tries to love her with brotherly love, but has not reconciled himself to the injustice that his father is showing him.

As Bezhars expected, the countess, out of love for her son, starts a conversation with her husband, who in anger reproaches her for treason, shows a letter she considered burnt, and mentions a bracelet with her portrait. The Countess is in such a state of complete emotional turmoil that when she sees the portrait of Cherubino, it seems to her that a dead accomplice of sin has come after her from the other world, and she frenziedly calls for death, accusing herself of a crime against her husband and son. The Count bitterly regrets his cruelty, and Leon, who has heard the whole conversation, rushes to his mother and says that he does not need any titles or fortune, he wants to leave the house together with Count Graf in despair, keeps Rosina, there is a stormy scene, during the which turns out that Bejars deceived everyone.

The main proof of his heinous atrocities is in the hands of Figaro. Without effort, having outsmarted the stupid servant Bezhars, Wilhelm, Figaro made him open, through whom Bejars’ correspondence goes. Several luids to a servant, in charge of mail, to open letters written in the handwriting of Honore-Tartuffe, and a round sum for the letter itself. But this document completely exposes the villain. There is universal reconciliation, everyone embraces each other. “Both of them are our children!” – enthusiastically declares the count, pointing to Leon and Florestine.

When Bejars appears, Figaro, who at the same time managed to save all the master money from the swindler, exposes him. Then he declares that Florestine and Leon “by birth and by law can not be considered relatives”, and the affectionate count urges the household to “forgive each other mistakes and previous weaknesses.”

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“The criminal mother” Beaumarchais in summary