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Dialogue following No. 3


Enter ARROSTINO.

GIORGIO. Three secret cheers for the Captain!

ALL (pianissimo). Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!

ARROSTINO. How do? How do? Ah! the bride and bridegroom. Allow me. (Kisses her.) Charming — at least I think so — another. (Kisses her again.) Yes, charming. Risotto, my poor fellow, accept my condolences.

RISOTTO. Condolences? You don't see anything wrong with her?

ARROSTINO. With her? Oh, no — not with her. My dear friend, she's bewitching.
(To
MINESTRA.)
You are bewitching, aren't you?

MINESTRA. I believe I'm nice.

ARROSTINO. You do? I'm delighted to hear it on such good authority.

RISOTTO. Still, I don't see why you should condole with me.

ARROSTINO. Don't you? Never mind — you will. Now tell me, Minestra, candidly — what was it you saw in him to admire? It's not his face, of course; nor his figure — we'll put them out of the question. It couldn't be his conversation, because he hasn't any.

MINESTRA. I don't know. He's got a way with him.

ARROSTINO. Has he got it with him now?

MINESTRA. I don't know. I suppose so.

ARROSTINO (imperatively). Risotto, give us an example of the way you have with you.

RISOTTO. It's something like this — (business of ogling).

ARROSTINO. Oh, my dear girl — really — dear, dear, dear!

MINESTRA (apologetically). You've got to be nearer to him for it to tell.

ARROSTINO. Well, but even then! Now, look at it in cold blood. Think of it ten years hence — when the novelty's worn off.

MINESTRA. It does look foolish from here. Oh, I almost wish I hadn't!

RISOTTO. My dear! (Consoling her.)

MINESTRA. Don't — I'm so inexperienced!

ARROSTINO. I suppose so. Pity — pity! Never mind — next time you'll be older. Now girls, I have some news for you: the Duke and Duchess of Pallavicini are to pass through the village on their way to Palermo. You don't see a real Duke and Duchess every day, so the best thing you can do is run down and prepare to receive them.

1ST GIRL. A real Duke and Duchess! Oh, that will be delightful.


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