(Cantarion comes out.)
CANTARION: This I never expected of you!
CANTARION: This piece of bread – you gave it to the dog!
LAVANDULA: It’s been stale for some time.
CANTARION: It’s not healthy to eat fresh bread!
LAVANDULA (aside): It’s not healthy, either, for you to be alive.
CANTARION: What was that?
LAVANDULA: May you live a long and healthy life!
CANTARION: Listen, now. I’m going to Scupi. I’ve been called urgently to the Senate. I don’t want you getting me into debt, d’you hear? People are envious: in no time they’ll be saying: “He’s only just got into the Senate and already he’s started snatching and grabbing!” I want you to keep that door tight shut – three bolts!
LAVANDULA: What, all three? Isn’t one enough? The longest one?
CANTARION: It’s safer with all three.
LAVANDULA: Are you jealous?
CANTARION: Jealous of whom?
LAVANDULA: You’re frightened someone might suddenly drop in on me while you’re away. I’m the most beautiful woman in town!
CANTARION: Beautiful, beautiful – even far too beautiful!
LAVANDULA: You don’t sound very convinced! Anyway, do you imagine you could keep me just by locking me up? If I wasn’t an honest woman I could have a real fling – and you wouldn’t notice a damn thing!
CANTARION: It’s not yourself I want you to look after, it’s your daughters! Now that I’ve got my promotion, there’ll be a lot of stray dogs prowling around this house.
LAVANDULA: I know you, through and through! Look, the girls are young – it’s only natural for the men to be running around them. And you’re afraid someone might give me the wink.
CANTARION (aside): He might – if he was half-blind!
LAVANDULA: Stop muttering into your beard. Tell me clearly what you want to say!
CANTARION: Well, somebody might just want to see you. (
LAVANDULA: And if he does, what harm is there in that? He’ll have his eyes full and his hands empty.
CANTARION (aside): Ah, that’s bad! (to Lavandula) But I must be on my way. If your friend Trifolio should turn up, tell him I’ve done my part of the job – now he can do his.
LAVANDULA: All you can think of is jobs and business.
CANTARION: And you, of spending money. Right, I’m off!
LAVANDULA: No farewell kiss?
CANTARION: I’ll give it to you… when I come back!