Read ACT I of The Resources of Quinola, free online book, by Honore de Balzac, on ReadCentral.com.

SCENE FIRST

(The scene is Barcelona.  The stage represents a public place.  On the left of the spectator appear houses, among which that of Lothundiaz stands at the corner of the street.  To the right is the palace of Senora Brancadori.  The time is night, but the day begins to dawn.)

Monipodio (wrapped in a mantle, seated under the balcony of the Brancadori palace), Quínola (who glides forth cautiously like a thief, and brushes against Monipodio).

Monipodio
Who is it dares to tread on my shoes?

Quínola (in ragged array)
A gentleman, who does not wear any.

Monipodio
That sounds like Lavradi.

Quínola
Monipodio!-I thought that you had been-hanged!

Monipodio
I thought that you had been beaten to death in Africa.

Quínola
Alas, we have been beaten enough without going to Africa!

Monipodio
And do you dare to show yourself here?

Quínola You seem comfortable enough here.  As for me, I have the king’s pardon in my pocket, and while I am waiting for my patent of nobility I call myself Quínola.

Monipodio
I suppose you stole your pardon?

Quínola
Yes, from the king.

Monipodio
And have you seen the king? (He sniffs at him.) You smell of poverty-

Quínola
Like a poet’s garret.  And what are you doing?

Monipodio
Nothing.

Quínola
That is soon done; if it gives you any income, I would like to embrace
your profession.

Monipodio
I have been misunderstood, my friend!  Hunted by our political enemies.

Quínola
The judges, magistrates and police.

Monipodio
It is necessary for a man to have a political party.

Quínola
I understand you; from being the game you have become the hunter.

Monipodio What nonsense!  I am always myself.  I have merely come to an understanding with the viceroy.  When one of my fellows has reached the end of his tether, I say to him:  “Get off,” and if he doesn’t go, ah!  I hale him to justice-you understand!-That is not treachery is it?

Quínola
It is prevision-

Monipodio
And, by the bye, you have just come from court.

Quínola Listen. (Aside) Here is a man, the very one I want, knows everything in Barcelona. (Aloud) After what you have told me we ought to be friends.

Monipodio
He who has my secret must be my friend-

Quínola You are as watchful here as if you were jealous.  What is it?  Come let us moisten our clay and wet our whistle with a bottle in some tavern; it is daybreak-

Monipodio
Do you see how this palace is lit up for a feast?  Don Fregose is
dining and gaming at the house of Senora Faustine Brancadori.

Quínola
Quite Venetian, Brancadori.  ’Tis a rare name!  She must be the widow of
some patrician.

Monipodio She is twenty-two, subtle as musk, and governs the governor, and, let me tell you between ourselves, has already wheedled out of him all that he picked up under Charles V. in the wars of Italy.  What comes from the flute-

Quínola
The air takes.  What is the age of the viceroy?

Monipodio
He owns up to sixty years.

Quínola And yet they speak of first love!  I know of nothing so terrible as last love; it strangles a man.  I am happy that I have been brought up so far with unsinged wings!  I might be a statesman-

Monipodio
The old general is still young enough to employ me as a spy upon the
Brancadori, while she pays me for her liberty; and-you can understand
the joyous life I lead by making no mischief!

Quínola Now you want to know all, Old Curiosity, in order to place your thumb upon the throat of opportunity! (Monipodio nods assent.) Is Lothundiaz still alive?

Monipodio
Yonder is his house, and this palace belongs to him; always grasping
more and more property.

Quínola
I had hoped to find the heiress her own mistress.  My master is ruined!

Monipodio
You bring back a master with you?

Quínola
One who will bring me mines of gold.

Monipodio
Could not I enter his service?

Quínola I am counting very much upon your co-operation here.  Listen, Monipodio; we are going to change the face of the earth.  My master has promised the king to make one of his finest vessels move through the water, without sails or oars, in the wind’s eyes, more swiftly than the wind itself.

Monipodio (examining Quínola as he walks round him)
Something has changed my friend.

Quínola Monipodio, please to remember that men like us must not be astonished at anything.  Leave that to smaller people.  The king has given us the ship, but without a doubloon to go and get her.  We arrived here, therefore, with those two faithful companions of genius, hunger and thirst.  A poor man who discovers a valuable idea has always seemed to me like a crumb of bread in a fish-pond; every fish takes a bite at him.  We are likely to reach the goal of glory naked and dying.

Monipodio
You are probably right.

Quínola One morning at Valladolid, my master was within an ace of divulging his secret to a philosopher who knew nothing of it.  I warrant you, I showed that gentleman the door, with a dose of cudgel given with a good will.

Monipodio
But how is it possible for us to gain a fortune honestly?

Quínola My master is in love.  Now love forces a man to do as many foolish things as wise things.  We two have first of all to protect our protector.  My master is a philosopher who cannot keep accounts-

Monipodio
Oh! my dear fellow, in choosing a master, you ought to have selected
one-

Quínola Devotion and address count more with him than money; for money and favor to him are mere snares.  I know him well; he will either give us or permit us to take enough to end our days in respectability.

Monipodio
Ah! that is what I have dreamed of.

Quínola We must then use all our talents, which have been so far wasted, in carrying out this grand enterprise.  We should have had a great deal of misfortune if the devil had not favored us.

Monipodio
It will be almost worth while to make a journey to Compostello.  I have
the smuggler’s faith, and I love wine.

Quínola
Are you not still in touch with the coiners of false money, and the
skeleton key-makers?

Monipodio
Yes-but for the good of the country-

Quínola Well, that’s the trick!  As my master constructs his machine, I shall take possession of the models of each part and we will make a duplicate-

Monipodio
Quínola!

Quínola
What now?

(Paquita shows herself on the balcony.)

Monipodio
You are the greatest of men!

Quínola I know it.  Make a discovery, and you will die persecuted as a criminal; make a copy, and you will live happy as a fool!  And on the other hand, if Fontanares should die, why should not I save his invention for the good of humanity?

Monipodio
Especially, since we ourselves are humanity, as an old author says. 
Let me embrace you.

SCENE SECOND

The same persons and Paquita.

Quínola (aside)
Next to an honest dupe, I know nothing better than the self-deluding
rascal.

Paquita (to herself)
Two friends embrace each other!  They cannot therefore be spies.

Quínola You are already in the secrets of the viceroy, you have the confidence of the Brancadori lady.  That is a good beginning!  Work a miracle and give us some clothes first of all, and if we two, taking counsel with a flask of liquor, do not discover some way by which my master and Marie Lothundiaz may meet, I will not answer for the consequences.  For the last two days his constant talk has been of her, and I am afraid he may some day entirely lose his head.

Monipodio The maiden is guarded like a condemned convict.  This is the reason:  Lothundiaz has had two wives; the first was poor and gave him a son, the second had a fortune, and when she died left all to her daughter, and left it in such a way that she could never be deprived of it.  The old man is a miser whose only object is his son’s success.  Sarpi, the secretary of the viceroy, in order to win the rich heiress, has promised to obtain a title for Lothundiaz, and takes vast interest in the son-

Quínola
There you are-an enemy at the very outset.

Monipodio We must use great prudence.  Listen.  I am going to give a hint to Mathieu Magis, the most prominent Lombard in the city, and a man entirely under my influence.  You will find everything you need at his palace, from diamonds down to low shoes.  When you return here you shall see our young lady. (Exeunt.)

SCENE THIRD

Paquita and Faustine.

Paquita
Madame is right; two men are on sentry under her balcony and are going
away on seeing the day dawn.

Faustine
The old viceroy will end by disgracing me!  He suspects me, even at my
own house, while I am within sight and hearing of him.

(Exit Paquita.)

SCENE FOURTH

Faustine and Don Fregose.

Don Fregose
Madame, you run the risk of catching cold; it is too chilly here.

Faustine Come here, my lord.  You tell me, that you have faith in me; but you put Monipodio to watch under my windows.  Your behavior is not to be excused like the excessive prudence of a young man, and necessarily exasperates an honest woman.  There are two kinds of jealousy:  the first makes a man distrust his mistress; the second leads him to lose faith in himself.  Confine yourself, if you please, to the second.

Don Fregose
Do not end so charming a celebration, senora, by a burst of anger
which I do not deserve.

Faustine
Was Monipodio, through whom you learn everything that goes on in
Barcelona, under my windows last night, or was he not?  Answer me on
your honor as a gentleman.

Don Fregose
He might have been in the neighborhood to prevent our gamesters from
being attacked on their way home.

Faustine This is the evasive stratagem of an old general!  I must know the truth.  If you have deceived me I will never see you again so long as I live!

(She leaves him.)

SCENE FIFTH.

Don Fregose (alone) Oh, why cannot I give up the sight, the voice of this woman!  She delights me even in her very anger, and I love to call forth her reproaches, that I may listen to her words.

SCENE SIXTH

Paquita and Monipodio (disguised as a begging friar at the door of the Brancadori Palace).

Paquita Madame told me to learn why Monipodio stationed himself below, but I saw no one there.

Monipodio
Alms, my dear child, is a treasure which is laid up in heaven.

Paquita
I have nothing to give.

Monipodio
Never mind, promise me something.

Paquita
This is rather a jovial friar.

Monipodio
She does not recognize me and I believe I can run the risk.

(Monipodio knocks at the door of Lothundiaz.)

Paquita Ah!  If you count upon the alms of our friend the land-owner, you would be richer with my promise. (To Faustine Brancadori, who appears on the balcony) Madame, the men are gone.

SCENE SEVENTH

Monipodio and Dona Lopez (at the door of the Lothundiaz Mansion.)

Dona Lopez
What is it you desire?

Monipodio
The brothers of our order have received tidings of your dear Lopez-

Dona Lopez
That he was living?

Monipodio As you conduct the Senorita Marie to the convent of the Dominicans, take a turn round the square; you will meet there an escaped Algerian captive, who will tell you about Lopez.

Dona Lopez
Merciful heavens!  Would that I could ransom him!

Monipodio
Be careful, first of all, when you approach on that subject; suppose
that he were a Mussulman?

Dona Lopez
Dear Lopez!  I must go and prepare the senorita for her journey.

(Dona Lopez re-enters the house.)

SCENE EIGHTH

Monipodio, Quínola and Fontanares.

Fontanares
At last, Quínola, we stand beneath her windows.

Quínola
Yes, but where is Monipodio?  Has he allowed himself to be beaten off? 
(He turns to the friar) Sir Beggar?

Monipodio
All goes well.

Quínola
Sangodemy!  What perfection of mendicancy!  Titian ought to paint you. 
(To Fontanares) She will come. (To Monipodio) How do you find things?

Monipodio
Most favorable.

Quínola
He shall be a grandee of Spain.

Monipodio
Oh!  That is nothing.  There is something still better than that!

Quínola (to Fontanares)
Now, sir, you must above all things be prudent.  Let us have no
sighing, which might open the eyes of the duenna.

SCENE NINTH

The same persons, Dona Lopez and Marie.

Monipodio (to the duenna, pointing to Quínola)
This is the Christian who escaped from captivity.

Quínola (speaking to the duenna)
Ah! madame, I recognize you from the portrait of your charms which
Senor Lorenzo drew for me.

(He takes her aside.)

SCENE TENTH

Monipodio, Marie and Fontanares.

Marie
Is it really you?

Fontanares
Yes, Marie, I have so far succeeded; our happiness is assured.

Marie
Ah!  If you only knew how I have prayed for your success!

Fontanares
I have millions of things to say to you; but there is one thing which
I ought to say a million times, to make up for all the weary time of
my absence.

Marie If you speak thus to me, I shall believe you do not know the depth of my attachment; for it is fed less upon flattering words than upon the interest I feel in all that interests you.

Fontanares What I am most interested in now, Marie, is to learn before engaging in so important an undertaking, whether you have the courage to resist your father, who is said to contemplate a marriage for you.

Marie
Do you think then that I could change?

Fontanares With us men, to love is to be forever jealous!  You are so rich, I am so poor.  When you thought I was ruined, you had no perturbation for the future, but now that success has come we shall have the whole world between us.  And you shall be my star!  And shall shine upon me though from so great a distance.  If I thought that at the end of my long struggle I should not find you at my side, oh! in the midst of all the triumph I should die for grief!

Marie Do you not know me yet?  Though I was lonely, almost a recluse while you were absent, the pure feeling which from our childhood united me with you has grown greater with your destiny!  When these eyes, which with such rapture look on you again, shall be closed forever; when this heart which only beats for God, for my father and for you shall be reduced to dust, I believe that on earth will survive a soul of mine to love you still!  Do you doubt now my constancy?

Fontanares After listening to such words as these, what martyr would not receive new courage at the stake?

SCENE ELEVENTH

The same persons and Lothundiaz.

Lothundiaz
That cursed duenna has left my door open.

Monipodio (aside)
Alas, those poor children are ruined! (To Lothundiaz) Alms is a
treasure which is laid up in heaven.

Lothundiaz
Go to work, and you can lay up treasures here on earth. (He looks
round) I do not see my daughter and her duenna in their usual place.

Monipodio (to Lothundiaz)
The Spaniard is by nature generous.

Lothundiaz Oh! get away!  I am a Catalonian and suspicious by nature. (He catches sight of his daughter and Fontanares.) What do I see?  My daughter with a young senor! (He runs up to them) It is hard enough to pay duennas for guarding children with the heart and eyes of a mother without finding them deceivers. (To his daughter) How is it that you, Marie, heiress of ten thousand sequins a year, should speak to-do my eyes deceive me?  It is that blasted machinist who hasn’t a maravedi.

(Monipodio makes signs to Quínola.)

Marie
Alfonso Fontanares is without fortune; he has seen the king.

Lothundiaz
So much the worst for the king.

Fontanares
Senor Lothundiaz, I am quite in a position to aspire to the hand of
your daughter.

Lothundiaz
Ah!

Fontanares
Will you accept for your son-in-law the Duke of Neptunado, grandee of
Spain, and favorite of the king?

(Lothundiaz pretends to look for the Duke of Neptunado.)

Marie
But it is he himself, dear father.

Lothundiaz
You, whom I have known since you were two foot high, whose father used
to sell cloth-do you take me for a fool?

SCENE TWELFTH

The same persons, Quínola and Dona Lopez.

Quínola
Who said fool?

Fontanares As a present upon our wedding, I will procure for you and for my wife a patent of nobility; we will permit you to settle her fortune by entail upon your son-

Marie
How is that, father?

Quínola
How is that, sir?

Lothundiaz
Why!  This is that brigand of a Lavradi!

Quínola
My master has won from the king an acknowledgment of my innocence.

Lothundiaz
To obtain for me a patent of nobility cannot then be a difficult
matter.

Quínola And do you really think that a townsman can be changed into a nobleman by letters-patent of the king!  Let us make the experiment.  Imagine for a moment that I am the Marquis of Lavradi.  My dear duke, lend me a hundred ducats?

Lothundiaz
A hundred cuts of the rod!  A hundred ducats!  It is the rent of a piece
of property worth two thousand gold doubloons.

Quínola There!  I told you so-and that fellow wishes to be ennobled!  Let us try again.  Count Lothundiaz, will you advance two thousand doubloons in gold to your son-in-law that he may fulfill his promises to the King of Spain?

Lothundiaz (to Fontanares)
But you must tell me what you have promised.

Fontanares
The King of Spain, learning of my love for your daughter, is coming to
Barcelona to see a ship propelled without oars or sails, by a machine
of my invention, and will himself honor our marriage by his presence.

Lothundiaz (aside) He is laughing at me. (Aloud) You are very likely to propel a ship without sails or oars!  I hope you will do it; I’ll go to see it.  It would amuse me, but I don’t wish to have for a son-in-law any man of such lofty dreams.  Girls brought up in our families need no prodigies for husbands, but men who are content to mind their business at their own homes, and leave the affairs of the sun and moon alone.  All that I want is that my son-in-law should be the good father of his family.

Fontanares Your daughter, senor, when she was but twelve years old, smiled on me as Beatrice smiled on Dante.  Child as she was, she saw in me at first naught but a brother; since then, as we felt ourselves separated by fortune, she has watched me as I formed that bold enterprise which should bridge with glory the gulf that stood between us.  It was for her sake I went to Italy and studied with Galileo.  She was the first to applaud my work, the first to understand it.  She had wedded herself to my thought before it had occurred to her that one day she might wed herself to me.  It is thus she has become the whole world to me.  Do you now understand how I adore her?

Lothundiaz It is just for that reason that I refuse to give her to you.  In ten years’ time she would be deserted, that you might run after some other discovery.

Marie Is it possible, father, that a lover could prove false to a love which has spurred him on to work such wonders?

Lothundiaz
Yes, when he can work them no longer.

Marie
If he should become a duke, grandee of Spain, and wealthy?

Lothundiaz
If!  If!  If!  Do you take me for an imbecile?  These ifs are the horses
that drag to the hospital all these sham world-discoverers.

Fontanares
But here are the letters in which the king grants to me the use of a
ship.

Quínola Now open your eyes!  My master is at once a man of genius and a handsome youth; genius dulls a man and makes him of no use in a home, I grant you; but the handsome youth is there still; what more is needed by a girl for happiness?

Lothundiaz Happiness does to consist in these extremes.  A handsome youth and a man of genius,-these, forsooth, are fine reasons for pouring out the treasures of Mexico.  My daughter shall be Madame Sarpi.

SCENE THIRTEENTH

The same persons, and Sarpi (on the balcony).

Sarpi (aside)
Some one uttered my name.  What do I see?  It is the heiress and her
father!  What can they be doing in the square at this hour?

Lothundiaz
Sarpi has not gone to look for a ship in the harbor of Valladolid, but
he gained promotion for my son.

Fontanares Do not, Lothundiaz, merely for the sake of your son’s advancement, dispose of your daughter’s hand without my consent; she loves me and I love her in return.  In a short time I shall be (Sarpi appears) one of the most influential men in Spain, and powerful enough to reap my vengeance-

Marie
Oh! not upon my father!

Fontanares
Tell him then Marie, all that I am doing to deserve you.

Sarpi (aside)
What!  A rival?

Quínola (to Lothundiaz)
Sir, if you don’t consent, you are in a fair way to be damned.

Lothundiaz
Who told you that?

Quínola
And worse than that,-you are going to be robbed; this I’ll swear to.

Lothundiaz
To prevent my either being robbed or damned I am keeping my daughter
for a man who may not have genius, but who has common sense-

Fontanares
At least you will give me time-

Sarpi
Why give him time?

Quínola (to Monipodio)
Who can that be?

Monipodio
Sarpi.

Quínola
What a bird of prey he looks!

Monipodio
And he is as difficult to kill.  He is the real governor of Barcelona.

Lothundiaz My respects to you, honorable secretary! (To Fontanares) Farewell, my friend, your arrival is an excellent reason why I should hurry on the wedding. (To Marie) Come, my daughter, let us go in. (To the duenna) And you, old hag, you’ll have to pay for this.

Sarpi (to Lothundiaz)
This hidalgo seems to have pretensions-

Fontanares (to Sarpi)
Nay, I have a right!

(Exeunt Marie, the duenna and Lothundiaz.)

SCENE FOURTEENTH

Monipodio, Sarpi, Fontanares and Quínola.

Sarpi A right?  Do you know that the nephew of Fra Paolo Sarpi, kinsman of the Brancadori, count in the Kingdom of Naples, secretary to the viceroy of Catalonia, makes pretension to the hand of Marie Lothundiaz?  When another man claims a right in the matter he insults both her and me.

Fontanares Do you know that I for five years, I, Alfonso Fontanares, to whom the king our master has promised the title of Duke of Neptunado and Grandee, as well as the Golden Fleece, have loved Marie Lothundiaz, and that your pretensions, made in spite of the oath which she has sworn to me, will be considered, unless you renounce them, an insult both by her and by me?

Sarpi I did not know, my lord, that I had so great a personage for a rival.  In any case, future Duke of Neptunado, future Grandee, future Knight of the Golden Fleece, we love the same woman; and if you have the promise of Marie, I have that of her father; you are expecting honors, while I possess them.

Fontanares Now, listen; let us remain just where we are; let us not utter another word; do not insult me even by a look.  Had I a hundred quarrels, I would fight with no one until I had completed my enterprise and answered successfully the expectation of my king.  When that moment comes, I will fight singled-handed against all.  And, when I have ended the conflict, you will find me-close to the king.

Sarpi
Oh! we are not going to lose sight of each other.

SCENE FIFTEENTH

The same persons, Faustine, Don Fregose and Paquita.

Faustine (on the balcony)
Tell me what is going on, my lord, between that young man and your
secretary?  Let us go down.

Quínola (to Monipodio)
Don’t you think that my master has pre-eminently the gift of drawing
down the lightning on his own head?

Monipodio
He carries his head so high!

Sarpi (to Don Fregose) My lord, there has arrived in Catalonia a man upon whom the king our master has heaped future honors.  According to my humble opinion, he should be welcomed by your excellency in accordance with his merits.

Don Fregose (to Fontanares)
Of what house are you?

Fontanares (aside) How many sneers, such as this, have I not been forced to endure!  (Aloud) The king, your excellency, never asked me that question.  But here is his letter and that of his ministers. (He hands him a package.)

Faustine (to Paquita)
That man has the air of a king.

Paquita
Of a king who will prove a conqueror.

Faustine (recognizing Monipodio)
Monipodio!  Do you know who that man is?

Monipodio
He is a man who, according to rumor, is going to turn the world upside
down.

Faustine
Ah!  I see; it is that famous inventor of whom I have heard so much.

Monipodio
And here is his servant.

Don Fregose Sarpi, you may file these ministerial documents; I will keep that of the king. (To Fontanares) Well, my fine fellow, the letter of the king seems to me to be positive.  You are undertaking, I see, to achieve the impossible!  However great you may be, perhaps it would be well for you to take the advice, in this affair, of Don Ramon, a philosopher of Catalonia who, on this subject, has written some famous treatises-

Fontanares
In a matter of this kind, your excellency, the finest dissertations in
the world are not worth so much as a practical achievement.

Don Fregose That sounds presumptuous. (To Sarpi) Sarpi, you must place at the disposal of this gentleman whatever vessel in the harbor he may choose.

Sarpi (to the viceroy)
Are you quite sure that such is the king’s wish?

Don Fregose
We shall see.  In Spain it is best to say a paternoster between every
two steps we take.

Sarpi
Other letters on the same subject have reached us from Valladolid.

Faustine (to the viceroy)
What are you talking about?

Don Fregose
Oh, it is nothing but a chimera.

Faustine
But don’t you know that I am rather fond of chimeras?

Don Fregose This is the chimera of some philosopher which the king has taken seriously on account of the disaster of the Armada.  If this gentleman succeeds, we shall have the court at Barcelona.

Faustine
We shall be much indebted to him for that.

Don Fregose He has staked his life on a commission to propel a vessel, swift as the wind, yet straight in the wind’s eye, without the employment of either oars or sails.

Faustine
Staked his life?  He must be a child to do so.

Sarpi
Alfonso Fontanares reckons that the performance of this miracle will
win for him the hand of Marie Lothundiaz.

Faustine
Ah!  He loves her then-

Quínola (whispering to Faustine)
No, senora, he adores her.

Faustine
The daughter of Lothundiaz!

Don Fregose
You seem suddenly to feel a great interest in him.

Faustine
I hope the gentleman may succeed, if it were only for the purpose of
bringing the court here.

Don Fregose
Senora, will you not come and take luncheon at the villa of Avaloros? 
A vessel is at your service in the harbor.

Faustine No, my lord, the night of pleasure has wearied me, and a sail would prove too much.  I am not obliged, like you, to be indefatigable; youth loves sleep, give me leave then to retire and take a little rest.

Don Fregose
You never say anything to me but that your words contain some
innuendo.

Faustine
You ought to be grateful that I do not take you seriously!

(Exeunt Faustine, the Viceroy and Paquita.)

SCENE SIXTEENTH

Avaloros, Quínola, Monipodio, Fontanares and Sarpi.

Sarpi (to Avaloros)
It is too late for a sail.

Avaloros
I do not care; I have won ten crowns in gold.

(Sarpi and Avaloros talk together.)

Fontanares (to Monipodio)
Who is this person?

Monipodio
It is Avaloros, the richest banker of Catalonia; he has bought the
whole Mediterranean to be his tributary.

Quínola
I feel my heart filled with tenderness towards him.

Monipodio
Every one of us owns him as our master.

Avaloros (to Fontanares) Young man, I am a banker; if your business is a good one, next to the protection of God and that of the king, nothing is as good as that of a millionaire.

Sarpi (to the banker)
Make no engagements at present.  You and I together will easily be able
to make ourselves masters of this enterprise.

Avaloros (to Fontanares)
Very well, my friend, you must come to see me.

(Monipodio secretly robs him of his purse.)

SCENE SEVENTEENTH

Monipodio, Fontanares and Quínola.

Quínola (to Fontanares)
Are you making a good beginning here?

Monipodio
Don Fregose is jealous of you.

Quínola
Sarpi is bent on defeating your enterprise.

Monipodio You are posing as a giant before dwarfs who are in power!  Before you put on these airs of pride, succeed!  People who succeed make themselves small, slip into small openings and glide inward to the treasure.

Quínola
Glory?  But my dear sir, it can only be obtained by theft.

Fontanares
Do you wish me to abase myself?

Monipodio
Yes, in order that you may gain your point.

Fontanares Pretty good for a Sarpi!  I shall make an open struggle for it.  But what obstacle do you see between success and me?  Am I not on my way to the harbor to choose a fine galleon?

Quínola
Ah!  I am superstitious on that point.  Sir, do not choose the galley!

Fontanares
I see no reason why I shouldn’t.

Quínola You have had no experience!  You have had something else to make discoveries about.  Ah, sir, we are moneyless, without credit at any inn, and if I had not met this old friend who loves me, for there are friends who hate you, we should have been without clothes-

Fontanares
But she loves me! (Marie waves her handkerchief at the window.) See,
see, my star is shining!

Quínola Why, sir, it is a handkerchief!  Are you sufficiently in your right mind to take a bit of advice?  This is not the sort of madonna for you; you need a Marchioness of Mondejar-one of those slim creatures, clad in steel, who through love are capable of all the expedients which distress makes necessary.  Now the Brancadori-

Fontanares If you want me to throw the whole thing up you will go on talking like that!  Bear that in mind; love gives the only strength I have.  It is the celestial light that leads me on.

Quínola
There, there, do not excite yourself.

Monipodio
This man makes me anxious!  He seems to me rather to be possessed by
the machinery of love than by the love of machinery.

SCENE EIGHTEENTH

The same persons and Paquita.

Paquita (to Fontanares)
My mistress bids me tell you, senor, that you must be on your guard. 
You are the object of implacable hatred to certain persons.

Monipodio That is my business.  You may go without fear through all the streets of Barcelona; if any one seeks your life, I shall be the first to know it.

Fontanares
Danger!  Already?

Paquita
You have given me no answer for her.

Quínola No, my pet, people don’t think about two machines at the same time; tell your divine mistress that my master kisses her feet.  I am a bachelor, sweet angel, and wish to make a happy end.

(He kisses her.)

Paquita (slapping him in the face)
You fool!

Quínola
Oh, charming!

(Exit Paquita.)

SCENE NINETEENTH

Fontanares, Quínola and Monipodio.

Monipodio
Come to the Golden Sun.  I know the host; you will get credit there.

Quínola
The battle is beginning even earlier than I had expected.

Fontanares
Where shall I obtain money?

Quínola
We can’t borrow it, but we can buy it.  How much do you need?

Fontanares
Two thousand doubloons in gold.

Quínola
I have been trying to make an estimate of the treasury I intended to
draw upon; it is not plump enough for that.

Monipodio
Well, now, I have found a purse.

Quínola Forget nothing in your estimate; you will require, sir, iron, copper, steel, wood, all of which the merchants can supply.  I have an idea!  I will found the house of Quínola and Company; if they don’t prosper you shall.

Fontanares
Ah! what would have become of me without you?

Monipodio
You would have been the prey of Avaloros.

Fontanares
To work, then!  The inventor must prove the salvation of the lover.

(Exeunt.)

Curtain to the First Act.