The Miser and Other Plays

By John Wood; Molière | Go to book overview

Act Three

ZERBINETTA, HYACINTHA, SCAPIN, SILVESTER.

SILVESTER. Yes. Your young men have decided that you should be together and we are carrying out their orders.

HYACINTHA [to ZERBINETTA]. The orders suit me very well. I am happy to have you as my companion, and it won't be my fault if the friendship between those we love doesn't unite us too.

ZERBINETTA. I agree. I am not one to refuse an offer of friendship.

SCAPIN. And an offer of love?

ZERBINETTA. Love is another matter. There is more at stake and I am less venturesome.

SCAPIN. You are set against my master, but what he has just done for you should surely encourage you to look more kindly on his love.

ZERBINETTA. I don't yet trust him beyond the limits of friendship, and what he has just done does not reassure completely. I may be light-hearted but there are some things I am serious about, and your master makes a mistake if he thinks because he has put down money for my freedom he can assume I am his entirely. He must be prepared to surrender something more than money, and before I return his passion as he wishes he must plight me his faith and confirm it with the customary ceremony.

SCAPIN. That's what he means to do. His intentions are entirely honourable and sincere. I shouldn't be helping him if it were otherwise!

ZERBINETTA. I will believe it, since you say so, but I foresee trouble with his father.

SCAPIN. Oh, we'll find means of dealing with that.

HYACINTHA. The similarity of our strange adventures ought to strengthen the ties of friendship between us. We share the same fears and are exposed to the same misfortune.

ZERBINETTA. But you have at least the advantage of knowing who your parents are. You can hope to find them again and expect them to ensure your happiness by giving their

-94-

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