(Outside Cantarion’s house. Lavandula comes out.)
LAVANDULA: So what if my husband is a millionaire? What difference does it make that he’s the wealthiest merchant in Lychnidus, and now a member of the Senate in Scupi, when he’s a mean tight-fisted miser? Once he gets his hands on money, even if you beat him he won’t let it go! He deals in silk and fine cloths, while his daughters and I go around in the meanest rags in town. It’s not because he’s clever but because he’s mean and stingy that they elected him to the Senate. “In times like this,” they say, “we have to save!” Times have always been like this for us; as soon as we start enjoying life, letting go a little, we have to tighten our belts! Short rations at home, soaring prices outside. And now, while he’s making his mark in the Senate, we’re up to the arse in cobwebs! Our neighbours have built a place and all we have is this ten-room tumbledown house and the shacks in Scupi, Heraclea, and Stobi… And we have two lovely, darling daughters, both ripe for marriage!
CANTARION (shouting from inside): Lavandula, where are you?
LAVANDULA: Under the apricot tree. Here he comes – my husband, Cantarion!