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The comic contest in Molière and Goldoni Brunoro, Mary-Ann 1983

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THE COMIC CONTEST IN MOLIERE AND GOLDONI By MARY-ANN BRUNORO B.A., The University of British Columbia, 1978 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Programme of Comparative Literature) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1983 (c) Mary-Ann Brunoro, 1983 I n p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I agree t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 DE-6 (3/81) - i i -ABSTRACT This thesis attempts a d e f i n i t i o n of comedy by analyzing the comedies of Moliere and Goldoni. Although a century apart, these two playwrights have analogous r o l e s i n redefining and i n r a i s i n g the standard of comedy i n t h e i r respective countries. Frye says that the basis of the comic a c t i o n i s the contest between eiron and alazon f i g u r e s ; i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, the young lovers and t h e i r t r i c k s t e r friends are eirons; blocking father figures are t y p i c a l l y alazons. This i s the case i n many of Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies, but i n order to say that the eiron-alazon contest forms the basis of a l l of t h e i r comedies, the d e f i n i t i o n of eiron and alazon figures must be expanded. This i s where Bergson and h i s essay on Le Rire are h e l p f u l . Bergson says that characters are comical e s s e n t i a l l y because they react mechanic c a l l y and automatically. It thus becomes clear that the overriding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the alazon, whether he i s i n a t r a d i t i o n a l comedy or not, i s h i s r i g i d behaviour, due for the most part to a lack of s e l f -knowledge. Conversely, eirons are distinguished by t h e i r f l e x i b i l i t y which they demonstrate through t h e i r ingenuity and a d a p t a b i l i t y . The deceptions and dissimulations which occur over and over again i n comedies are the t h e a t r i c a l manifestations of t h i s f l e x i b i l i t y . Because the blocking character i s usually i n a p o s i t i o n of authority, eirons are often - i i i -required to resort to t r i c k e r y out of sheer necessity. Chapter One discusses Moliere and Goldoni comedies where the eiron-alazon contest i s expressed s o l e l y i n terms of youth versus age and the young lovers are unaided i n t h e i r attempts to r e s i s t the blocking f i g u r e . Some i n t e r e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n s a r i s e , however, i n comedies where young lovers are l e f t to fend for themselves; for they take on alazon-like c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . In many comedies, more important than the young lovers as an eiron fi g u r e i s the trusty servant who helps them. But when servants, whether male or female, are c a l l e d i n to help the young lovers, as i s the case i n the comedies analyzed i n Chapter Two, they i n v a r i a b l y bring into play another contest, that of servant versus master. In the f i n a l chapter, comedies are discussed where the r o l e of the servant figure has been replaced by that of the wife, who i n 17th and 18th century Europe was very much i n a subordinate p o s i t i o n v i s a v i s her husband. In the two f i n a l comedies studied i n the t h i r d chapter, the wife-husband contest gives way to that of women versus men, and i t can be said of both Moliere and Goldoni that they r a i s e feminist issues. Depending on the comedy, the youth-age contest i s not always the predominate one, and as other contests take precedence, the l e s s t i e d i s the comedy to the t r a i d i t i o n a l comic p l o t . But basic to a l l of Moliere's and Goldoni's plays i s that when more than one contest i s present within the same comedy, they can be superimposed one on top of the other so that the eirons are always distinguished by t h e i r dedication to the cause of love and l i b e r t y and t h e i r expertise i n t r i c k e r y and the alazons, by t h e i r r i g i d and mechanical behaviour and t o t a l lack of self-knowledge. ft * * - iv -CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER ONE "L!AMOUR EST UN GRAND MAITRE": THE YOUTH-AGE CONTEST CHAPTER TWO "VIVAT. . .FOURBUM IMPERATOR/IMPERATRIX!' THE SERVANT-MASTER CONTEST CHAPTER THREE "ARTE, ARTE SOPRAFFINA": THE WOMAN-MAN CONTEST CONCLUSION . BIBLIOGRAPHY - v -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS In loving gratitude to my parents. Special thanks to Dr. Knutson and Dr. L o e f f l e r f o r t h e i r kind and expert advice, to my s i s t e r s and friends f o r t h e i r encouragement, and, most of a l l , to Tony for h i s firm but gentle push. INTRODUCTION A young man and a young woman f a l l deeply i n love. L i f e has l o s t a l l meaning for them i f they cannot be together. A s i n g l e desire now motivates them: the desire to marry. Though t h e i r love for each other should move the hardest of hearts, there are those who t r y to separate them and to block t h e i r marriage. But i n the end the young people, aided by i n d i v i d u a l s who are on the side of love, overcome a l l obstacles and a t t a i n t h e i r happiness. We are a l l only too f a m i l i a r with such a plot for i t i s the t r a d i t i o n a l plot of comedy, originated by Menander and imitated by Plautus and Terence and comedy writers ever since. Two types of characters oppose each other i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy the young lovers and whoever aids them i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to marry must struggle against the "heavies" or blocking characters who continuously t r y to thwart the progress of t h e i r love. It i s t h i s contest or opposi t i o n between what Frye c a l l s the eiron and alazon figures which "forms the basis of the comic action."''' In t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, described 2 by Frye as the normal phase of comedy, the movement i s "from a society c o n t r o l l e d by habit, r i t u a l bondage, a r b i t r a r y law and the older 3 characters to a society c o n t r o l l e d by youth and pragmatic freedom." - 2 -Here, the eiron-alazon contest i s one of youth versus age. The youth-age contest i s , however, but one of the many v a r i a t i o n s of the e i r o n -alazon contests which are possible i n comedy. Bergson, i n h i s famous essay, Le R i r e , helps us to understand what constitutes the e s s e n t i a l contest i n comedy and what distinguishes an eiron from an alazon. He explains that what i s comical, what makes us laugh i s "une certaine raideur de mecanique l a ou l'on voudrait trouver l a souplesse attentive 4 et l a vivante f l e x i b i l i t e ' d ' u n e personne." The basic opposition i n comedy i s therefore between f l e x i b i l i t y and r i g i d i t y , or to use Bergson's terms, e l a s t i c i t y and tension. ~* In society, tension and e l a s t i c i t y complement each other, but i n comedy, c e r t a i n characters have imposed, or are t r y i n g to impose, r e s t r i c t i o n s on the other characters or on society as a whole. This, i n turn, causes the other characters to do whatever they can to get around the r e s t r i c t i o n or to have i t removed e n t i r e l y . In t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, the alazons, usually father f i g u r e s , are obsessed creatures. Ruled by t h e i r passion for money, ambition, or authority, and blinded to the needs of the young people, they react i n a mechanical and i r r a t i o n a l way. The blocking c h a r a c t e r s — t h e word blocking i s i t s e l f i n d i c a t i v e — are r i g i d , severe, unbending, unaccommodating. They are never w i l l i n g to l i s t e n or compromise or change i n order to meet anyone halfway but follow "auomatiquement £ieurj chemin sans se soucier de prendre contact avec l e s autres."^ Although they are usually reconciled at the end with the other characters i n order to secure the happy ending, they are seldom converted to the new ways of "the f i n a l society reached by comedy. . . [which] the audience has recognized a l l along to be the - 3 -g proper and desirable state of a f f a i r s . " The young lovers and t h e i r f r i e n d s , i n r e s i s t i n g the blocking character and i n t r y i n g to a t t a i n t h e i r own d e s i r e s , must be e n t i r e l y p l i a n t and adaptable to whatever new s i t u a t i o n a r i s e s . They must reveal a f l e x i b i l i t y of the mind, and invent names and events and explanations at a moment's notice; they must demonstrate a f l e x i b i l i t y of the body, and disguise t h e i r v o i c e , emotional state, manners, and at times, even t h e i r sex, i n order to escape each predicament they f i n d themselves i n and to overcome each obstacle they encounter. A blocking character, because he "has s o c i a l prestige and power . . . i s able to force much of the play's society into l i n e with h i s 9 obsession." With few exceptions, the eirons are subordinate to the alazons who are always i n p o s i t i o n s of authority. Consequently, i n confronting the alazons, the eirons have only t h e i r wits to r e l y on, and i n order to bring about a more s o c i a l l y acceptable world, t r i c k e r y i s the only means ava i l a b l e to them. Knutson makes e s s e n t i a l l y the same point when he writes, "The wrong society, the one i n control during most of the play, has authority and l e g a l i t y on i t s side, so that the only weapons against i t are dissimulation and deception."'''^ The r i g i d i t y of certains.characters i s put into perspective by the f l e x i b i l i t y of the others, and one of the most e f f e c t i v e ways of o f f s e t t i n g the r i g i d characters i s through the implantation of a stratagem. To be able to t r i c k someone s u c c e s s f u l l y , e s p e c i a l l y when he i s i n a p o s i t i o n of authority and one i s not, requires a great deal of ingenuity, of f l e x i b i l i t y of both mind and body. In many comedies, the stratagem or ingahno i s the play, and we note here the ambiguity of the word play for - 4 -i t means a dramatic composition as well as something done i n fun or to deceive. Usually directed by a p r i n c i p a l t r i c k s t e r f i g u r e , the eirons come together to plan and set into motion t h i s stratagem, whether he i s conscious of himself as such, the t r i c k s t e r i s "the architectus of the comic action."*''' Whereas the t r i c k s t e r i s or becomes aware of h i s expertise as a t r i c k s t e r and often boasts of i t , the blocking character i s unconscious of h i s obsession, of h i s r i g i d i t y ; he "frequently 12 [displays] a lack of self-knowledge." Bergson says of the monomaniacal comic character that he i s "generalement comique dans l'exacte mesure ou i l s'ignore lui-meme. . . i l se rend i n v i s i b l e a ;lui-meme en devenant 13 v i s i b l e a tout l e monde." The eiron succeeds i n t r i c k i n g the alazon because the alazon, due to h i s p a r t i c u l a r obsession, reacts s t i f f l y and mechanically, and i s thus t o t a l l y p r edictable. The e i r o n i s i n control ; i he has the alazon playing into h i s hands. I t i s an i f the alazon were his puppet; he knows which st r i n g s to p u l l i n order to get a given re a c t i o n from the alazon. We applaud the t r i c k s t e r because through h i s ploys he demonstrates his ingenuity and h i s a d a p t a b i l i t y ; we laugh at the dupe because he reveals h i s i n a b i l i t y to perceive anything beyond the r e s t r i c t i n g l i m i t s that he imposes upon himself and others. The eiron succeeds i n temporarily switching positions with the alazon for during the duration of the deception, the alazon i s subordinate to the eiron. This r e v e r s a l represents for the audience a kind of wish f u l f i l l -ment. Mauron explains that i n children's games and i n the daydreams of both c h i l d r e n and adults, "Le f a i b l e s'imagine f o r t , l e pauvre, r i c h e , l e coupable, j u s t i c i e r , etc."'''^ Thus, " l a comedie nous apparait fondee, dans 1'inconscient, sur une f a n t a i s i e de triomphe, elle-meme nee du renversement d'un reve d'angoisse." The t r i c k s t e r l e t s us i n on h i s deception plan when he discusses i t with the other eiron characters, or i n some comedies, when he d i r e c t l y addresses the audience, a fact which explains the importance of monologues and asides i n comedy. But whether we have 'overheard' or been d i r e c t l y informed, a secret understanding r e s u l t s between the t r i c k s t e r and the audience. This i s re l a t e d to what Bergson says about laughter and the nature of the comical: " l e r i r e cache une arriere-pensee d'entente, j e d i r a i s presque de complicite, avec d'autres r i e u r s , r e e l s ou imaginaires." "Seulement, cette i n t e l l i g e n c e doit r e s t e r en contact avec d'autres i n t e l l i g e n c e s . . .11 semble que l e r i r e a i t besoin d'un echo. . .Notre r i r e est toujours l e r i r e d'un groupe."^ From the beginning, the t r i c k s t e r figure i s d i r e c t i n g our laughter towards the blocking characters. Bergson explains that "ou l a personne d'autrui cesse de 18 nous emouvoir, l a seulement peut commencer l a comedie." In comedy, we can laugh at the blocking characters because they never arouse our sympathy; the t r i c k s t e r makes c e r t a i n of t h i s . It i s mostly through h i s doing that a l l the ridiculousness of the alazon i s brought out into the open. We never laugh at the t r i c k s t e r , but with him, for he makes us laugh. In a very r e a l sense, the t r i c k s t e r i s an entertainer. He thus has a l l our sympathy and we cheer for him. For as long as he amuses us, t h i s sympathy extends even to the t r i c k s t e r turned r a s c a l , and i t i s with regret that we see him expelled from c e r t a i n comedies as 19 i n the case of F a l s t a f f . But the t r i c k s t e r i s not only the d i r e c t o r of our laughter; he i s also r i e u r himself, for he often makes no secret of enjoying himself at the alazon's expense. This t i e s i n with what Hegel - 6 -says about laughter, that i t i s " l i t t l e more than an expression of 20 s e l f - s a t i s f i e d shrewdness." Society i s suspicious of "toute raideur du caractere, de 1'esprit et meme du corps. . .parce qu'elle est le signe possible d'une a c t i v i t e " que s'endort et aussi d'une a c t i v i t e qui s ' i s o l e , qui tend a's'ecarter 21 du centre commun autour duquel l a societe g r a v i t e . " I f automatic and mechanical actions and gestures, fixed and r e s t r i c t i n g ideas and opinions are r i d i c u l e d i n comedy, i t i s because they are a n t i - s o c i a l . Frye notes that the happy ending of comedy " i s not moral i n the r e s t r i c t e d 22 sense, but s o c i a l ; " Bergson explains that the comical, that i s r i g i d , character "peut, a l a rigueur, etre en regie avec l a s t r i c t e morale. II 23 l u i r este seulement a se mettre en regie avec l a s o c i e t e . " But more than a n t i - s o c i a l , what i s r i g i d and mechanical i s also a n t i - b i o l o g i c a l , anti-organic. Langer says that "comedy i n a n u t s h e l l (jLs~J the contest on men and women—the most u n i v e r s a l contest, humanized, i n f a c t c i v i l i z e d , yet s t i l l the p r i m i t i v e j o y f u l challenge, the s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n 24 and s e l f - a s s e r t i o n whose progress i s the comic rythm." This explains the enduring a t t r a c t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l comedy where the pursuit of love and marriage i s the main issue and where biology and f l e x i b i l i t y 25 merge, where "organic and s o c i a l v i t a l i t y i n t e r s e c t . " R i g i d i t y means automatism, a l i e n a t i o n , stagnation, death:;, f l e x i b i l i t y means spontaneity, adaptation, growth, l i f e . A fter a l l , the theory of evolution maintains that i t i s the species that can adapt to changes i n the environment that w i l l survive. The purpose of t h i s study i s to apply a synthesis of these general ideas on comedy to two great comic playwrights, the Frenchman Moliere - 7 -and h i s I t a l i a n admirer Goldoni. There are many a f f i n i t i e s between these two playwrights who are separated by almost a century. Not only have both Moliere and Goldoni written b r i l l i a n t comedies which are studies i n character as w e l l as manners but they also have analogous roles i n r e v i s i n g the d e f i n i t i o n of comedy and r a i s i n g i t s standard i n t h e i r respective countries, although not before they both f a i l e d i n t h e i r attempt to write tragedies, which were considered a superior form of a r t . In recompense, and i n response to c r i t i c i s m s from the public and c r i t i c s , Moliere and Goldoni wrote comedies which contained an explanation of what comedy should be and i t s defense, namely, Moliere's La C r i t i q u e de L'Ecole des femmes and L'Impromptu de V e r s a i l l e s and Goldoni's II teatro comico. In describing the importance of Moliere and Goldoni i n the world of theatre, perhaps Niccolo Tommaseo said i t best when he wrote that "three c i t i e s share i n the glory of having given 26 b i r t h to comedy: Athens, P a r i s , and Venice." Although Goldoni, unlike Moliere, was never a professional actor and d i r e c t o r , he was c l o s e l y involved with acting companies. C e r t a i n l y , he shared t h e i r hopes and fears; the success of h i s plays, l i k e those of Moliere's, depended on t h e i r performance. Here, we can draw a l i n e between the world of comedy and r e a l i t y for i t can be said of the acting companies of Moliere's and Goldoni's times, e s p e c i a l l y those of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , that "they had to be quick-witted, tough, and 27 adaptable, or they perished" i n the face of possible resistence from t h e i r p u b l i c . For both Moliere and Goldoni, the influence of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e i s undeniable. Moliere shared the Hotel de P e t i t Bourbon with Scaramouche, head actor of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e i n P a r i s . There i s evidence that i n h i s early farces, Moliere's character types were masked as i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e t r a d i t i o n , but the masks were 28 soon dropped, at l e a s t by the time of L'Ecole des maris. M o l i e r e 1 s famous alazons: Arnolphe, Orgon, Harpagon, Alceste, however, "ont ce t r a i t du masque i t a l i e n de porter a travers toutes les s i t u a t i o n s de l a 29 piece l a f i x i t e i n v a r i a b l e de leur caractere." In h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of "un caractere au sens que l e mot a chez Moliere," Lanson says that i t i s "une nature puissamment u n i f i e e par l a domination d'une passion ou d'un v i c e qui d e t r u i t toutes l e s autres a f f e c t i o n s et puissances de l'ame, et devient l e principe de toutes les pensees et de tous l e s actes 30 du personnage." But whereas Moliere incorporated the concept of the mask into h i s comedies, Goldoni re b e l l e d against i t . By the eighteenth century, as Riccoboni himself observes, the commedia d e l l ' a r t e was a 31 l o s t a r t . But i n order to reform the I t a l i a n theatre, Goldoni had to f i g h t the commedia d e l l ' a r t e actors, who i n i t i a l l y r e s i s t e d h i s attempts to give them written parts. Thus, h i s f i r s t plays were l i t t l e more than canevas for commedia d e l l ' a r t e troupes. But as Goldoni wrote more and more of the parts, the human face began to appear through the brown leather masks, and "the cocoon that shroudjedj the 'figure' {became] 32 more and more unraveled." By i n d i v i d u a l i z i n g " l a personality dei 3 p r o p r i personaggi, strappandoli a l i a maschera p r e c o s t i t u i t a d e l ' t i p o ' , " Goldoni sought to create characters which would l a t e r herald him as a 34 forerunner of psychological realism. Goldoni underlines the difference between Moliere, for whom he had an avowed admiration, and himself by having Orazio, h i s mouthpiece i n II teatro comico, say that "un carattere solo basta per sostenere una commedia francese. . .1 n o s t r i I t a l i a n i - 9 -vogliono molto d i piu. Vogliono che i l carattere p r i n c i p a l e s i a f o r t e , o r i g i n a l e e conosciuto, che quasi tutte l e persone, che formano g l i e p i s o d i , 35 sieno a l t r e t t a n t i c a r a t t e r i . " These two playwrights also d i f f e r i n t h e i r class b i a s . Moliere e s s e n t i a l l y upholds the ari s t o c r a c y and Goldoni, the bourgeosie. On the whole, however, t h e i r works reveal the ascendancy of another c l a s s : many of Moliere's comedies hint at a r i s i n g bourgeoisie and by the end of h i s I t a l i a n career, the bourgeoisie i n Goldoni's comedies has given way to the popolo. A comparison of Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies w i l l reveal that the basic opposition brought into play be eirons and alazons i s that of f l e x i b i l i t y and r i g i d i t y and that deception i s the t h e a t r i c a l manifesta-t i o n par excellence of f l e x i b i l i t y . Both Moliere and Goldoni have written comedies which are apparently t r a d i t i o n a l i n plo t but i n very few of them i s i t s t r i c t l y a question of the youth versus age contest. Only when the young lovers are unaided by anyone as i n Moliere's L'Ecole des maris and L.'Ecole des femmes and Goldoni'sUn curioso accidente, which are discussed i n the f i r s t chapter, i s the eiron-alazon contest expressed s o l e l y i n terms of age di f f e r e n c e s . Some i n t e r e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n s , however, a r i s e when young lovers are l e f t to fend f o r themselves;^ and i n the other comedies discussed i n t h i s chapter, we see eirons take on alazon-like c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . In many comedies, more important than the young lovers as an eiron figure i s the tr u s t y servant who helps them. But when servants, whether male or female, are c a l l e d i n to help the young lovers, as i s the case i n the comedies analyzed i n Chapter Two, they i n v a r i a b l y bring into play another contest, that of servant versus master. In the f i n a l chapter, we encounter comedies where the r o l e of the servant fi g u r e has been replaced by that of - 10 -the wife, who i n 17th century French society and 18th century Venetian society, was very much i n a subordinate p o s i t i o n v i s a v i s her husband. In Le Misanthrope and La locandiera, however, the wife-husband contest gives way to that of women versus men, and we can say of both Moliere and Goldoni that they r a i s e feminist issues. Depending on the comedy, the youth-age contest i s not always the predominate one, and as other contests take precedence, the less t i e d i s the comedy to the t r a d i t i o n a l comic p l o t . But basic to a l l of Moliere's and Goldoni's plays i s that when more than one contest i s present within the same comedy, they can be superimposed one on top of the other so that the eirons are always distinguished by t h e i r dedication to the cause of love and l i b e r t y and t h e i r expertise i n t r i c k e r y and the alazons, by t h e i r r i g i d and mechanical behaviour and t o t a l lack of self-knowledge. - 11 -NOTES '''Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism,:: Four Essays (1957; r p t . New York: Atheneum, 1967), p. 172. 2 Frye, p. 180. 3 F r y e , p. 169. ^Henri Bergson, Le R i r e : E s s a i sur l a s i g n i f i c a t i o n du comique (1899; r p t . P a r i s : Presses U n i v e r s i t a i r e s de France, 1967), p. 8. ^Bergson, p. 14. Loc. ext. ^Bergson, pp. 102-3. ^Frye, p. 164. 9 F r y e , p. 169. 1 0 H a r o l d C. Knutson, Moliere: An Archetypal Approach (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976), p. 24. ''•'•Frye, p. 174. 12 Frye, p. 172. Bergson, p. 13. "^Charles Mauron, Psychocritique du genre comique (Paris: C o r t i , 1964), p. 32. ^Mauron, p. 30. Bergson, p. 5. ^Bergson, pp. 4-5. •^Bergson, p. 102. - 12 -Frye, p. 45. 20 GiWiF; Hegel, The Philosophy of Fine A r t , trans. FiP;B; Osmaston, i n Theories of Comedy, ed. Paul Lauter (New York: Doubleday, 1964), p. 351. 21 Bergson, p. 15. 22 Frye, p. 167. 23 Bergson, p. 105. 24 Susanne K. Langer, Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art  Developed from Philosophy i n a New Key (London: Rontledge and Kegan Paul, 1953), p. 346. 25 Knutson, p. 14. 26 Niccolo Tommaseo, quoted i n Carlo Goldoni, by Heinz Riedt, trans. Ursule Molinaro (New York: Frederich Ungar, 1974), p. 11. 27 " I t a l y , " Oxford Companion to the Theatre, 3rd ed., p. 488. 28 Gustave Lanson, "Moliere et l a f a r c e , " i n Essais de methode,  de c r i t i q u e et d ' h i s t o i r e l i t t e r a i r e , ed. Henri Peyre (1901: r p t . P a r i s : Hachette, 1965), p. 204. 29 Lanson, p. 206. 30 Lanson, p. 203. 31 " I t a l y , " Oxford Companion, p. 491. , 32 Heinz Riedt, Carlo Goldoni, trans Ursule Molinaro (New York: Frederich Ungar, 1974), p. 19. 33 Guido Davico Bonino, Introduction, Commedie d i Carlo Goldoni, Vol. 1, ed. Guido Davico Bonino (Milana: Garzanti, 1976), p. x x i . 3 4 R i e d t , p. 20. 35 Carlo Goldoni, II teatro comico, i n Commedie, ed. Ni c o l a Mangini (Torino: Unione T i p o g r a f i c o - E d i t r i c e Torinese, 1971), p. 107. - 13 -CHAPTER ONE "L'AMOUR EST UN GRAND MAITRE": THE YOUTH-AGE CONTEST A century l e s s a year apart, Moliere's L'Ecole des maris, which he wrote i n 1661, early i n h i s Paris career, and Goldoni's Un curioso  accidente, written i n 1760 and representative of h i s mature works, are very s i m i l a r i n terms of the eiron and alazon alignment and of the type of stratagems invented by the eirons, although the former i s s t i l l only "une farce me"lee de comedie"* and the l a t t e r , a f u l l - l e n g t h comedy. Both plays are f a i t h f u l to the t r a d i t i o n a l comic pl o t i n that a t y r a n n i c a l father f i g u r e thwarts the progress of young love but they are unlike most of the other Moliere and Goldoni comedies i n that here the young lovers fend f o r themselves, using t h e i r own ingenuity i n overcoming the alazons. These two comedies are further distinguished by the fac t that i n each of them, the young woman i s the main t r i c k s t e r . She i s the f i r s t to reveal her love to the young man; and once assured of h i s love f o r her, i n i t i a t e s deceptive strategies i n order to marry him. In confronting the father figure's unyielding r e s i s t e n c e , both Isabelle and Giannina know that i t i s p o i n t l e s s to meet r i g i d i t y with r i g i d i t y . The young heroine of Moliere's and Goldoni's - 14 -comedies, who, along with the young hero, i s usually well-born, may p e r s i s t i n refusing to marry her father's choice but t h i s r e f u s a l brings her no closer to marrying her true love. I t would more than l i k e l y r e s u l t i n her never seeing him again for her only other a l t e r n a t i v e i s the convent. This i s the s i t u a t i o n i n Moliere's and Goldoni's society as well as i n t h e i r comedies. In comedy, however, there i s a way to r e s i s t a father's impera-t i v e and marry one's beloved, not through obstinacy and open confrontation, but through g u i l e and dissimulation. In other words, r i g i d i t y can be overcome by being f l e x i b l e . C o r r e l a t i v e l y , servants are e i t h e r unavailable or unable to help the young lovers i n these comedies. In L'Ecole des maris, because of h i s 2 mistrust of "valets impudents," Sganarelle w i l l not allow any servants i n the house and Isabelle's predicament i s thus a p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t one f o r secret lovers to p r e v a i l over. Valere explains t h i s to h i s servant, Ergaste, " i l n'est la-dedans servantes n i valets/Dont, par l'appat f l a t t e u r de quelque recompense,/Je puisse pour mes feux menager 1'assistance" (w. 342-3). In Un curioso accidente, Giannina r i s k s the success of her plan to marry La Cotterie by f a i l i n g to confide i n her servant, Marianna. As i t turns out, however, given the i r o n i c s i t u a t i o n i n the play, Marianna's two 'betrayals' are of l i t t l e consequence and she i s unwittingly an alazon. Marianna, i n f a c t , i s never aligned with the alazons. Her f i r s t betrayal i s the r e s u l t of a quiproquo, and thus accidental; and the second, although i n t e n t i o n a l , i s due to her desire to marry Guascogna, La Cotterie's v a l e t , and her need to prove her i n t e g r i t y of mind to her master. Ultimately, Marianna pleads with F i l i b e r t o to forgive h i s daughter and to accept her and her husband back into h i s house. It i s , however, s i g n i f i c a n t that - 15 -although they are unable to help, both Ergaste and Guascogna are aware of the power of love. At the beginning of L'Ecole des maris, Ergaste points out to an exasperated Valere that "1'amour rend i n v e n t i f " (v. 339) and at the end of Un curioso accidente, Guascogna explains to a shocked F i l i b e r t o 3 that "amore e ingegnoso." I s a b e l l e and Giannina, who are both unaccustomed to dissimulating, demonstrate through the course of the play, the v e r a c i t y of the v a l e t s ' words, for love does awaken i n lovers hidden resources. In exact opposition to h i s brother, A r i s t e , who has allowed h i s ward, Leonor, to decide for h e r s e l f whether she wishes to marry him or to choose someone else (always, of course, within the bounds of p r o p r i e t y ) , Sganarelle has w i l l e d , without ever conferring with h i s ward, I s a b e l l e — h e would, moreover, be deaf to any possible objections on her p a r t — t h a t she i s to be h i s wife. Sganarelle i s completely i n s e n s i t i v e to the wisdom and to the humanity of A r i s t e ' s words regarding Leonor's marriage, "j'aime mieux l a v o i r sous un autre hymenee/Que s i contre son gre sa main m'etait donnee" (w. 207-8). Moreover, i n order to guarantee himself a d o c i l e and f a i t h f u l wife, Sganarelle has kept Isabelle locked up at home, where, .: separated from a l l s o c i a l contact, she i s condemned to spend her days, as Sganarelle explains to A r i s t e , "aux choses du menage/A recoudre mon l i n g e . . ./ Ou bien a t r i c o t e r quelques bas par p l a i s i r " (w. 120-2) . But despite " l e s soins d e f i a n t s , les verrous et l e s g r i l l e s (v. 167), Sganarelle has been unable to prevent Isabelle and Valere from f a l l i n g i n love, for the two, barred from communicating ei t h e r by word or w r i t , have f a l l e n i n love i n the most spontaneous and i r r e p r e s s i b l e way: through an exchange of glances. H o r r i f i e d by her impending marriage with Sganarelle and encouraged by her newly awakened love for Valere, Isabelle does not - 16 -h e s i t a t e to set i n t o motion "Le stratageme a d r o i t d'une innocen.te amour" (v. 362) i n order to deceive Sganarelle and marry V a l e r e . From the e a r l y scenes of Un curioso accidente, we l e a r n that F i l i b e r t o , a r i c h and supposedly l i b e r a l - m i n d e d Dutch merchant has given h o s p i t a l i t y to a wounded French o f f i c e r , La C o t t e r i e . His daughter, Giannina, who i s allowed the freedom to s o c i a l i z e as b e f i t s a young woman of good f a m i l y , has consequently shared, f o r the past few months, the company of t h i s young o f f i c e r . The two, not s u r p r i s i n g l y , have f a l l e n i n l o v e , but because of the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r l o v e , they are both u n w i l l i n g to express t h e i r f e e l i n g s f o r each other. Although a nobleman, La C o t t e r i e i s very poor, and n e i t h e r La C o t t e r i e nor Giannina harbour any hope that F i l i b e r t o would agree to give h i s daughter i n marriage "a un cadetto, a un s o l d a t o , ad uno, i n f i n e , che dovrebbe v i v e r e s u l l a dote" (p. 706). Giannina has been r a i s e d i n freedom l i k e Leonor i n L'Ecole des  maris but she i s more l i k e I s a b e l l e i n that she cannot hope to marry the man she l o v e s . Indeed, when i n I I , 4, Giannina ventures to say that she wants "un marito d i genio" (p. 34), F i l i b e r t o i n t e r r u p t s her, "Desidero che s i t r o v i d i v o s t r o genio. Ma prima ha da essere d i genio mio" (p. 34). Giannina'S f e e l i n g s are thus of secondary importance to her f a t h e r . When i t comes to marrying h i s daughter, F i l i b e r t o ' s l i b e r a l i s m i s replaced by i n t o l e r a n c e and s e l f i s h n e s s . La C o t t e r i e makes up f o r h i s l a c k of wealth by a deep sense of honour. C e r t a i n that he can never marry Giannina, he cannot prolong h i s stay without r i s k i n g to betray " l ' o s p i t a l i t a , l ' a m i c i z i a , l a buona fede" (p. 706) which he has recei v e d from F i l i b e r t o . He th e r e f o r e decides to s a c r i f i c e h i s love to honour and r e t u r n to France without l e t t i n g Gianinna know how much he loves her. La C o t t e r i e ' s imminent departure has the same effect on Giannina that Isabelle 1s impending marriage to Sganarelle has on her. Like Isabelle, Giannina is driven to make the f i r s t move and she reveals her love to La Cotterie. When he responds by admitting that he, too, loves her and confesses that he is precipitating his departure only because of his love for her, she convinces him to stay for who knows what new circumstances may arise with time. Both Isabelle and Giannina are aware of their boldness in being the f i r s t one to reveal their love and to in i t i a t e a plan of action. "Je fais, pour une f i l l e , un projet bien hardi" (v. 366), admits Isabelle, and Giannina confesses to herself, "Non avrei mai creduto avermi da ridurre ad un simil passo. Impiegar io medesima le parole ed i mezzi per trattenerlo" (p. 714). But although they may have some misgivings about overlooking "les formalites ou la bienseance du sexe oblige " (Maris, p. 375), they do not doubt that the urgency of their predicament w i l l justify them. Isabelle says that she has been forced to act by "l'injuste rigueur dont envers [elle] l'on use" (v. 367) and Giannina realizes that without her intervention, La Cotterie "partirebbe a momenti" (p. 714) and he would then be lost to her forever and she would die of heartbreak. Giannina i s , however, a l i t t l e less conscientious than Isabelle. Whereas Isabelle publicly apologizes to her sister, Leonor, for having had to compromise her good name in "ce honteux stratageme" (v. 1080), Giannina, although she did not originally intend to involve Costanza in her plan, does not regret having played with her rivals feelings in tricking Filiberto. But i f Giannina seems almost cruel in her treatment of Costanza, i t is because she has not been blind to Costanza's interest in La Cotterie. Goldoni's heroine has a jealous streak, a characteristic common to many of Moliere's and Goldoni's young lovers as we s h a l l see l a t e r on i n t h i s chapter. As alazons, Sganarelle and F i l i b e r t o are characterized by a 4 sense of s u p e r i o r i t y and a lack of self-knowledge. Arrogant and therefore i n s e n s i t i v e to the needs of the young people, neither Sganarelle nor F i l i b e r t o ever r e a l i z e s that h i s arrogance r e s t r i c t s h i s mentality and he consequently reacts mechanically and r i g i d l y . Their minds are set, functioning l i k e r a i l r o a d cars that can only proceed along an i n f l e x i b l e and preconceived route. Thus, t h e i r reactions to any given s i t u a t i o n i s highly predictable. The young people, p a r t i c u l a r l y the young women, understand t h i s and i t i s t h e i r one advantage over the blocking f i g u r e s . By l e t t i n g the blocking figure believe that she i s respecting h i s l i m i t a -tions and f u l f i l l i n g h i s s e l f i s h expectations of her, i n other words, by keeping h e r s e l f within the narrow track of h i s perceptions, I s a b e l l e as w e l l as Giannina i s able to deceive him. Since neither Sganarelle nor F i l i b e r t o i s very s k i l l f u l at following any other l i n e of thought than h i s own, the young heroines s u c c e s s f u l l y throw suspicion o f f themselves u n t i l they have married t h e i r lover. I s a b e l l e and Giannina, i t seems, are w e l l aware that the society cherished by the blocking figures i s one of " d e f i n i t i o n and formulation" and that they "want predictable a c t i v i t y . " " ' Sganarelle makes i t no secret that he considers h i s method of education superior to A r i s t e ' s (he antici p a t e s with malicious pleasure the day when Leonor w i l l v e r i f y h i s p r e d i c t i o n and make A r i s t e cocu). Thus, i n order to i n f l a t e Sganarelle's ego and assure h i s t r u s t i n her, Isa b e l l e purposely t e l l s him about Valere's love for her and how she spurns him. As Is a b e l l e expected, Sganarelle takes the b a i t . He automati-c a l l y believes that I s a b e l l e "montre l e fruit/Que 1'education dans une ame - 19 -produit:/La vertu f a i t ses soins, et son coeur s'y consomme/Jusques a s'offenser des seuls regards d'un homme" (w. 445-8). At Isabelle's suggestion, he w i l l i n g l y seeks out Valere to t e l l him that she i s offended by h i s attentions. But when Sganarelle t e l l s Valere, "Son coeur. . ./N'a que trop de vos yeux entendu l e langage" (w. 415-6) "Et qu'ayant vu l'ardeur dont votre ame est b l e s s e e , / E l l e vous eut plus tot f a i t savoir sa pensee,/Si son coeur avait eu,. . ./A qui pouvair donner cette commission" (w. 423-6), he i s ob l i v i o u s to the ambiguous nature of h i s words and of th e i r e f f e c t on Valere who i s intrigued rather than repelled by them; as Ergaste i s quick to point out, "cet avis n'est pas d'une persone/Qui v e u i l l e v o i r .cesser l'amour qu'elle vous donne" (w. 439-40). Isabelle has found the ingenious way of communicating her love to Valere through Sganarelle. Through Isabelle's manipulations, Sganarelle serves twice more as the unconscious go-between for her and Valere. I f Isa b e l l e f e e l s i n s u l t e d by the "seuls regards d'un homme" (v. 448) how much more i n s u l t e d w i l l she be i f he sends her a love note. This i s how Sganarelle reasons . and he thus never considers that the l e t t e r that he hands over to Valere i s Isa b e l l e ' s . Valere i s quick to assess the s i t u a t i o n . Following Isabelle's lead, he also uses Sganarelle i n order to communicate with her. Realizing that he can manipulate Sganarelle by taking advantage of his i n f l a t e d ego, Valere pretends to agree to give up Isa b e l l e because Sganarelle i s the better man, and Sganarelle i s only too w i l l i n g to see i n Valere's decision the young man's recognition of the older man's superior merits. Elated by Valere's resignation, though not without commiserating with him a l i t t l e for l o s i n g I s a b e l l e , Sganarelle repeats almost word for word Valere's camouflaged message of love to Is a b e l l e , and he i s again completely unaware of what he i s a c t u a l l y communicating to Isa b e l l e : - 20 -Mais i l m'a tendrement conjure de te d i r e Que du moins en t'aimant i l n'a jamis pense A r i e n dont ton honneur a i t l i e u d'etre o f f e n s e , Et que, ne dependant que du choix de son ame, Tous ses d e s i r s e t a i e n t de t ' o b t e n i r pour femme, S i l e s d e s t i n s , en moi, q u i c a p t i v e ton coeur, N'opposaient un o b s t a c l e a c e t t e j u s t e ardeur;i Que, quoi qu'on puisse f a i r e , i l ne te faut pas c r o i r e Que jamais tes appas so r t e n t de sa memoire; Que, quelque a r r e t des Cieux q u ' i l l u i f a i l l e s u b i r , Son s o r t est de t'aimer jusqu'au d e r n i e r s o u p i r ; Et que s i quelque chose e t o u f f e sa p o u r s u i t e , C'est l e j u s t e respect q u ' i l a pour mon merite. ( w . 596-610) We f i n d i n Sganarelle's accurate r e n d i t i o n of Valere's expression of l o v e , more evidence of Sganarelle's i n f l a t e d ego. Does not, according to S g a n a r e l l e 1 s way of t h i n k i n g , the worth of h i s p r i z e possession, I s a b e l l e , increase because she i s p r a i s e d and coveted by someone else? When, through I s a b e l l e ' s f u r t h e r manipulations, Sganarelle a c t u a l l y b r i n g s Valere i n t o the house, a d e l i g h t f u l l y i r o n i c scene ensues. With her enemy and l o v e r before her, I s a b e l l e c l e v e r l y expresses what she f e e l s f o r each of them without her s p e c i f y i n g who i s who: "La presence de l'un m'est agreable et chere,/. . .Et 1'autre par sa vue i n s p i r e dans mon coeur/De s e c r e t s mouvements et de haine et d'horreur" ( w . 743-5). Because Sganarelle never suspects that he i s the object of her h a t r e d , I s a b e l l e can f r e e l y d e s c r i b e her love f o r V a l e r e , who because of her l e t t e r and other s i g n s , can c o r r e c t l y decode the double meaning of her words and know f o r sure that he i s the one who has "toute Json) estime et toute (saj tendresse" (v. 740) and that Sganarelle "a toute [sa] c o l e r e et [son] aver-s i o n " (v. 742). Valere can t h e r e f o r e respond a p p r o p r i a t e l y and maintain t h i s conversation of double entendres w i t h I s a b e l l e . Unmindful, as u s u a l , of the r e a l nature of the communication t a k i n g place i n h i s very presence, - 21 -Sganarelle instead exalts i n Isabelle's words, considering them the expression of her love for him. When I s a b e l l e , valuing Valere's opinion, worries that i t may be "honteux/Aux f i l l e s d'exprimer s i librement leurs voeux" (w. 757-8), Sganarelle coaches her, "Point, point" (v. 759) for he wishes to hear more as he assures her, "Tu ne languiras pas longtemps" (v. 770); when she begins to describe her hatred for Sganarelle, he thinks i t i s directed at Valere and f e e l i n g a l i t t l e sorry for him, he asks her to be more moderate. Unfortunately for I s a b e l l e , her success i n making Sganarelle believe that the words aimed at Valere were for him has an unexpected r e s u l t . They have aroused Sganarelle's passion and as a r e s u l t he wants to advance the marriage date. "C'est trop que de huit jours pour ton impatience;/Des demain j e t'epouse" (w. 796-7), Sganarelle t e l l s a h o r r i f i e d I sabelle as Act II ends. Is a b e l l e i s going to have to resort very quickly to another strategy. In Un curioso accidente, F i l i b e r t o has been l i b e r a l about h i s daughter's upbringing, t r u s t i n g her to act prudently and p r e f e r r i n g , l i k e A r i s t e , that i t be "l'honneur qui [la tiennej dans l e devoir £et] /Non l a se v e r i t e " (Maris, w. 169-70). F i l i b e r t o says he i s "un poco f i l o s o f o " (p. 716)—as only a product of the age of enlightment can claim to be—and he believes i n the supremacy of reason. But consistent with the r i g i d mentality of a blocking character, he only takes into consideration h i s d e f i n i t i o n of what i s reasonable. Like Sganarelle, F i l i b e r t o i s lacking i n self-knowledge, for despite a l l h i s claims to love philosophy and tru t h , he i s unaware that he i s both s e l f i s h and h y p o c r i t i c a l . Early i n the play, F i l i b e r t o says that he i s a man "che ama l a v e r i t a , che non sa fingere nemmen per ischerzo" (p. 718), but i n dealing with h i s daughter, La Cot t e r i e , - 22 -and the o t h e r s , F i l i b e r t o d e l i g h t s i n speaking i n innuendos and i n double entendres. I t i s t h i s tendency of h i s not to speak p l a i n l y which makes Marianna and La C o t t e r i e b e l i e v e at f i r s t that he approves of La C o t t e r i e marrying Giannina and which consequently prolongs F i l i b e r t o ' s ignorance of the tr u e nature of the s i t u a t i o n and i n v o l v e s him i n planning La C o t t e r i e ' s marriage w i t h Costanza to such a degree that n e i t h e r La C o t t e r i e nor Giannina can d e t r a c t him from h i s p r o j e c t without r e v e a l i n g t h e i r love f o r each other. Because of h i s hy p o c r i s y , F i l i b e r t o does not r e a l i z e that h i s o p i n i o n of La C o t t e r i e i s based on a double standard. On the one hand, he urges La C o t t e r i e to marry Costanza, a r i c h man's daughter, even i f he has to run o f f w i t h her f o r " I I jsuo) sangue ed i l £suoJ merito possono equiparare una r i c c a dote" (p. 725), and on the other, he lashes out at Marianna f o r t h i n k i n g that he would approve of a marriage between La C o t t e r i e and Giannina, "Pare a te che i o v o l e s s i dare mia f i g l i a ad un uomo d'armata, ad un cadetto d i casa povera, ad uno che non avrebbe i l modo d i mantenerla com'ella e nata?" (p. 737). F i l i b e r t o thus b e l i e v e s that Riccardo should be eager to acquire La C o t t e r i e as a son-in-law because "e onest'uomo: non ha d i f e t t i , e p o i e d i sangue n o b i l e " (p. 740) when these same q u a l i t i e s would never s a t i s f y F i l i b e r t o ' s requirements f o r a son-in-law. I t seems that F i l i b e r t o considers La C o t t e r i e a good choice f o r any r i c h man's daughter other than h i s own. Moreover, F i l i b e r t o r efuses to acknowledge that h i s reason f o r not c o n s i d e r i n g La C o t t e r i e a s u i t a b l e husband f o r Giannina i s none other than greed. When Riccardo asks F i l i b e r t o why he does not marry La C o t t e r i e to h i s daughter i f he th i n k s so h i g h l y of him, F i l i b e r t o can only answer, "Perche. . .porche non g l i e l a v o g l i o dare" (p. 740). F i l i b e r t o cannot e x p l a i n why because he has e x a c t l y - 23 -the same objection as Riccardo: they both can expect to marry t h e i r daughters into "una d e l l e m i g l i o r i case d'Olanda" (p. 740). F i l i b e r t o f i r s t appears on stage i n I I , 4, when he discovers Giannina alone i n La Cotterie's room a f t e r t h e i r avowal of love. Giannina t r i e s to conceal her a g i t a t i o n but she finds i t d i f f i c u l t to appear unperturbed by F i l i b e r t o ' s questions since he suspects La Cotterie's recent depressive state to be a symptom of love sickness. In h i s treatment of Giannina i n t h i s scene, F i l i b e r t o contradicts a l l of h i s philosophic p r i n c i p l e s . We see from the beginning that he does not speak i n a straightforward manner. He broaches the subject of La Cotterie with rather e l u s i v e language. "Io dubito che l a malattia ch'ei s o f f r e presentamente, s i a o r i g i n a t a da u n ' a l t r a f e r i t a un poco p i u penetrante" (p. 715), and he continues t a l k i n g i n t h i s way about wounds "che non sono dai medici c o n o s c i u t i " (p. 715), about "armi che colpiscono per d i dentro [e passano] per g l i occhi, per l e orecchie, per i meati del corpo " (p. 715). At f i r s t , F i l i b e r t o ' s metaphoric way of speaking appears light-hearted, the manner i n which a liberal-minded and good-natured father might deal with h i s daughter who has f a l l e n i n love. F i l i b e r t o , however, i s not being sincere fo r he, i s using t h i s type of language not to tease Giannina but to test her. I f she understands him i t means she i s i n love, for he says to her, "Avrei piacere che non mi c a p i s t e " (p. 715). F i l i b e r t o makes i t quite c l e a r that he would not be pleased to f i n d out that Giannina and La Cotterie have f a l l e n i n love. His true nature, therefore, i s not that of an understanding parent but of a heavy father f i g u r e . He t e l l s Giannina what he expects her to be: "una brava ragazza, saggia, prudente, che conosce i l male d e l l ' u f f i z i a l e , e che mostra d i non conoscerlo per onesta" (p. 715), and i t - 24 -i s understood that i f she complies with t h i s , he w i l l not have to step i n and openly impede the progress of t h e i r love. F i l i b e r t o has accurately deduced La Cotterie's predicament: " i o l o giudico innamorato Je]. . .se mai per awentura quel l a che l o ha innamorato fosse r i c c a , dipendesse dal padre, e non potesse a c c o r d a r g l i alcuna buona speranza, non sarebbe fuor d i proposito, che l a disperazione l o con s i g l i a s s e a p a r t i r e " (p. 716). F i l i b e r t o i s proud of having thought a l l of t h i s out "filosoficamente" (p. 716), but what F i l i b e r t o does, not perceive i s that although he may reason l o g i c a l l y and be an accurate observer, he does not l i v e according to the p r i n c i p l e s of an enlightened philosopher. Speaking of himself i n the t h i r d person, F i l i b e r t o has analyzed La Cotterie's unhappy s i t u a t i o n as i f he were completely detached from i t and not at a l l as the one person who could completely change the s i t u a t i o n and a l l e v i a t e La Cotterie's s u f f e r i n g . F i l i b e r t o thus reveals himself not to be on the side of love. He t e l l s Giannina, "Non v o r r e i che n e l l a d i l u i malattia v i fosse frammischiata quel l a d i mia f i g l i u o l a " (p. 716), and though h i s use of the c o n d i t i o n a l has a softening e f f e c t , i t does not completely hide the threatening under-tone. F i l i b e r t o d i f f e r s from Sganarelle only i n that he does not consider i t necessary to keep his daughter under lock and key. In a way, F i l i b e r t o i s more cr u e l than Sganarelle for whereas Sganarelle never philosophizes about the nature of love, F i l i b e r t o shows through h i s m i l i t a r y metaphors that he understands the spontaneous and i r r e p r e s s i b l e nature of love, yet he would not hesitate to t r y and suppress i t s course i f i t were to i n t e r -fere with h i s plans for h i s daughter's marriage. Giannina's responses to her father indicate that she understands exactly what he i s getting at and i s able to manipulate him by modelling - 25 -h e r s e l f according to h i s expectations. She e f f e c t i v e l y pretends not to understand h i s words and F i l i b e r t o must change t a c t i c s , " F i g l i u o l a mia, facciamoci a p a r l a r chiaro" (p. 716). (He himself admits to not speaking p l a i n l y ) . She manages to overcome her f l u s t e r e d state and feign gaiety so w e l l that F i l i b e r t o t e l l s her, "0 che abbiate avuta l a v i r t u d i r e s i s t e r e , o che abbiate que l l a d i saper fingere" (pp. 716-7). Ultimately, i n order to throw F i l i b e r t o o f f her tracks, Giannina i s forced to invent a romance between La Cotterie and her f r i e n d , Costanza. But l i k e I s a b e l l e , Giannina i s too successful i n deceiving the blocking f i g u r e . Where Isabelle has to contend with Sganarelle's sudden decision to p r e c i p i t a t e t h e i r wedding, Giannina must deal with F i l i b e r t o ' s unforeseen desire to help bring about the marriage between La Cotterie and Costanza. The unexpected r e s o l u t i o n taken by Sganarelle and F i l i b e r t o , although i t takes place near the end i n L'Ecole des maris and at the beginning of Un curioso accidente, i s i n each case c r u c i a l to the play. In L'Ecole des maris, Sganarelle's decision to advance the wedding date i s the c l i m a t i c moment of the play and F i l i b e r t o ' s desire to intervene on La Cotterie's behalf i s the point from which Un  curioso accidente evolves. Moreover, both resolutions drive the young women to desperate measures: I s a b e l l e , who had expected that Valere would, i n due time, come and rescue her, must now escape on her own and Giannina, who had o r i g i n a l l y only wanted to prolong La Cotterie's stay i n the hope of more favourable circumstances, agrees to elope with him. Like Isabelle and Valere, Giannina and La Cotterie are able to dissimulate together i n front of the blocking figure and hold i r o n i c conversations, but Giannina and La Cotterie are not the c r a f t l y dissimu-l a t o r s that Isabelle and Valere are, for t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i s complicated - 26 -by Giannina's jealousy. In scenes 2 and 3 of Act I I , the conversations of the young lovers f i r s t with Costanza and l a t e r with F i l i b e r t o are laced with secondary meanings, but instead of being a method of i m p l i c i t communication between Giannina and La C o t t e r i e , t h e i r double entendres only antagonize each other. La Cotterie and Giannina must deal with two contradictory modes of behaviour: La Cotterie must at the same time feign love for Costanza and not arouse Giannina's jealousy. Giannina interrupts the conversation each time La Cotterie must express his'love for Costanza, thereby r i s k i n g the betrayal of her true f e e l i n g s , although i n each case she i s quick enough to disengage h e r s e l f from any compromising remarks. Giannina cannot bear to hear La Cotterie utter words of endearment to Costanza even though she knows f u l l w e ll that they are not true and that her happiness hinges on the success of t h i s deception. When she i s jealous, Giannina cannot d i f f e r e n t i a t e between truth and dissimulation. Love, thus, has a r e s t r i c t i n g e f f e c t on her mind which almost causes her to be an alazon i n her own p l o t , a s i t u a t i o n which occurs, as we s h a l l see, i n many comedies. What i s i n t e r e s t i n g about Sganarelle and F i l i b e r t o i s that although they are alazons, they are t r i c k e d into functioning as eirons. In the same way that Marianna i s unwittingly an alazon, F i l i b e r t o and Sganarelle are unwittingly eirons. They help to bring about the marriages of the young lovers while thinking that they are helping other young people to get married. A l l the e f f o r t s that they put into aiding non-existent marriages benefit the very marriages that they would oppose. They are thus t h e i r own dupes^ and thereby make i t easier for the young lovers. Sganarelle i s anxious to help r e a l i z e the marriage of Leonor and Valere, - 27 -and F i l i b e r t o , of La Cotterie and Costanza, marriages which they believe to be desired by everyone except the father figure concerned. Unlike a true e i r o n , however, neither of them i s i n any way dedicated to the cause of love. In o f f e r i n g t h e i r services to the young people, they are motivated by a s p i r i t of v i n d i c t i v e n e s s ; i t i s , moreover, t h e i r v i n d i c t i v e nature which makes them so ready to believe i n these invented marriages. Although Sganarelle f e e l s sorry for Valere for having l o s t out to him and F i l i b e r t o wants to help h i s f r i e n d , La Cot t e r i e , i n both cases t h e i r over-riding reason i n wanting to see that these marriages take place i s s e l f i s h . When Isa b e l l e , caught by Sganarelle as she t r i e s to escape, invents the story about wanting to help Leonor get together with Valere, Sganarelle automa-t i c a l l y believes her for t h i s i s a moment which he has long cherished. He sees i t as confirming the s u p e r i o r i t y of h i s method i n upbringing young g i r l s , and he i s anxious to run to h i s brother and throw i n his face a l l his moralizing about honour and l i b e r t y . He t e l l s I s a b e l l e , "En quelle impatience/Suis-je de v o i r mon f r e r e , et l u i conter sa chance!" (w. 383-4). Before gloating over h i s brother's humiliation, Sganarelle wants to make sure that t h i s marriage takes place and he himself arranges for a commissaire and a notaire to l e g a l i z e i t . Sganarelle i s so formed by his r i g i d mentality that he does not perceive the inconsistency i n Isabelle's story: why would Leonor, who has A r i s t e ' s permission and blessing to choose a husband for he r s e l f , wish to marry Valere i n secret? In f a c t , A r i s t e i s troubled by Sganarelle's news not because Leonor has al l e g e d l y married another man but because she never t o l d him. "Moi, qui dans toute chose a i , depuis son enfance,/Montre toujours pour e l l e entiere complaisance?" (w. 983-4), he ponders aloud i n the face of Sganarelle's smugness. When Isabelle appears - 28 -before him by Valere's side, Sganarelle f i n a l l y r e a l i z e s that he has been t r i c k e d . But h i s r i g i d i t y of mind p e r s i s t s to the very end. He refuses to allow for the p o s s i b i l i t y that he may have been wrong i n h i s treatment of I s a b e l l e . Although he has before him the p o s i t i v e example of Leonor who f r e e l y and happily chooses A r i s t e as her husband, he condemns a l l women as "ce sexe trompeur" (v. 1109) "engendre pour damner tout l e monde" (v. 1108). In Un curioso accidente, F i l i b e r t o seizes from the beginning onto Giannina's story about La Cotterie's love for Costanza with such tenacity that he never suspects i t s falseness, even when Marianna i s ready to swear that she has heard d i f f e r e n t l y . The reason for F i l i b e r t o ' s obstinacy i s , as i n Sganarelle's case, h i s sense of self-righteousness.and not any a l t r u i s t i c concern for the young lovers . From the moment that Giannina mentions that La Cotterie i s a f r a i d of being refused by Costanza's father, F i l i b e r t o i s angered by the thought that Riccardo would disdain to give h i s daughter to La C o t t e r i e . It i s not because Riccardo thinks t h i s s u i t o r too poor that F i l i b e r t o finds Riccardo's r e j e c t i o n of La Cotterie u n f a i r but because t h i s i s the reason why F i l i b e r t o cannot accept La Cotterie as a son-in-law; and whereas t h i s i s , according to F i l i b e r t o ' s double standard, a worthy excuse for "un negoziante d'Olanda" (p. 718), i t i s not an acceptable reason for "un f i n a n z i e r e , sollevato d a l fango, ed a r r i c c h i t o a l suono d e l l e exclamazioni del popolo" (p. 717). Whether or not t h i s i s a f a i r d e s c r i p t i o n of Riccardo does not change the f a c t that he i s as r i c h as F i l i b e r t o and that he consequently has the same expectations as F i l i b e r t o regarding h i s daughter's marriage. It i s ultimately because he believes himself to have been treated arrogantly by Riccardo that F i l i b e r t o advises La Cotterie to elope and even lends him the necessary money. In the same ve i n , we r e c a l l that Arnolphe i n L'Ecole des femmes lends money to Horace only to have i t used against him. It i s therefore out of sp i t e rather than sympathy that F i l i b e r t o helps the young lovers. When F i l i b e r t o says "Non vedo l ' o r a d i veder fremere, d i vedere a d i s p e r a r s i Riccardo" (p. 743), he seems to echo Sganarelle and h i s wish to see A r i s t e humiliated. That F i l i b e r t o i s an alazon even when he i s acting as an eiron i s revealed i n h i s monologue i n Act II where he ra i s e s some doubts about having encouraged La Cotterie to marry Costanza against her father's wishes: "Penso che ho ancor io una f i g l i u o l a , e non v o r r e i mi venisse f a t t o un simile t o r t o " (p. 744). F i l i b e r t o here i s having a kind of i d e n t i t y c r i s i s — i t goes against h i s nature to act as an eiro n . But he quickly j u s t i f i e s himself i n true alazon fashion by r e c a l l i n g h i s conten-t i o n with Riccardo. Blinded by h i s sense of self-righteousness, F i l i b e r t o never sees that the very reasons that he uses to convince La Cotterie to elope with Costanza are equally persuasive i n the case of h i s daughter. Like Sganarelle i n r e l a t i n g verbatim Valdere message of love to I s a b e l l e , F i l i b e r t o i s ob l i v i o u s to the double-natured e f f e c t of h i s words when he reasons with La Co t t e r i e , "La f a n c i u l l a v i ama, v o i l'amate teneramente. Sarebbe questo i l primo matrimonio, che s t a b i l i t o s i fosse f r a due giovani o n e s t i , senza i l consenso del padre?" (p. 742). And when La Cotterie asks him outright, "Approvereste v o i ch'io sposassi l a f i g l i a , senza i l consenti-mento del genitore?" (p. 742), F i l i b e r t o i s completely unaware that he i s e s s e n t i a l l y giving h i s permission to La Cotterie to elope with h i s daughter: " S i , nel caso i n c u i siamo, esaminando l e circostanze, l'approverei" (p. 742). La Cotterie's l a s t resistance to betray h i s host dissolves when - 30 -F i l i b e r t o lends him money and even accuses him of cowardice i n h e s i t a t i n g to a c t . Giannina i s not b l i n d to her fa t h e r ' s double standard; i n s e v e r a l i nstances throughout the p l a y she u n d e r l i n e s h i s h y p o c r i s y , though he never r e a l i z e s i t . At the beginning of Act I , she v o i c e s h i s opi n i o n before he does, "Per quel ch'io sento, se f o s t e v o i i l f i n a n z i e r e , non g l i neghereste l a v o s t r a f i g l i a . . .Ma essendo un negoziante d'Olanda, non v i converrebbe i l p a r t i t o " (p. 718). When F i l i b e r t o t e l l s her that " l a dote che i o v i d e s t i n o , puo f a r v i degna d i uno d e i m i g l i o r i p a r t i t i d'Olanda" (p. 734), she angers him by say i n g , "Lo stesso puo d i r e i l padre d i madamigella Costanza" (p. 734). Although Giannina has always demonstrated to be "una buona f a n c i u l l l a , " F i l i b e r t o undermines the power of l o v e , and f a i l s to r e a l i z e that when one i s i n l o v e , i t i s no longer p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h between " i c a s i e l e convenienze" (p. 746), e s p e c i a l l y when they are based on a double standard. Before d e c i d i n g to run o f f w i t h La C o t t e r i e , Giannina wants to hear from her fa t h e r h e r s e l f that he has advised La C o t t e r i e "a sposar l a f i g l i a senza d e l padre" (p. 745). F i l i b e r t o h e s i t a t e s to admit i t because i t might serve as a bad example f o r h i s daughter, but l i k e S g a n a r e l l e , F i l i b e r t o i s sure of h i s ways; he has no need to worry, f o r as he says, "so come l'ho educata, e so t t o l a mia v i g i l a n z a non v i e p e r i c o l o che mi.accadano d i t a l i d i s a s t r i " (p. 746). F i l i b e r t o , t oo, needs p o s i t i v e proof before he r e a l i z e s that he has been deceived. But u n l i k e S g a n a r e l l e , F i l i b e r t o — w h o a f t e r a l l has not l o s t a w i f e but gained a s o n — w i t h the a i d of Marianna, Guascogna, and i r o n i c a l l y , R i c c a r d o , moderates h i s anger, f o r g i v e s h i s daughter and accepts - 3 1 -La Cotterie as son-in-law, v e r i f y i n g h i s previous predication to La Cotterie that for a father whose only daughter elopes, " [la c o l l e r a j g l i durera. . . qualche giorno, e poi f a r a ancor e g l i come hanno fat t o t a n t i a l t r i . V i accettera per genero, e forse forse v i fara padrone d i casa" (p. 742). Taking advantage of t h i s period of grace, Marianna and Guascogna ask " l i c e n z a d i l o r s i g n o r i " (p. 757) to marry, and the play ends with two weddings. "The tendency of comedy," to quote Frye, " i s to include as many people as possible i n i t s f i n a l society: the blocking characters are more often reconciled or converted than simply repudiated."^ Un curioso accidente d i f f e r s from L'Ecole des maris i n i t s ending for Sganarelle r e j e c t s the new society of the lovers; F i l i b e r t o , however, i s not exactly reconciled to but rather blackmailed into accepting "a society c o n t r o l l e d g by youth and pragmatic freedom." Riccardo advises him, "Amico, l a cosa e f a t t a , non v i e rimedio. V i c o n s i g l i o ad accomodarvi, prima che s i sparga per l a c i t t a i l curioso accidente che v i e accaduto" (p. 756). I t i s therefore h i s fear of public opinion that f i n a l l y convinces F i l i b e r t o to forgive the young couple. F i l i b e r t o ' s s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to what people say further undermines i n our eyes hi s "lume d ' i n t e l l e t t o " (p. 720) and aligns him rather with the l i k e s of Sganarelle i n L'Ecole des maris and Arnolphe i n L'Ecole des femmes. Giannina i s well aware of t h i s fear of her father and i t i s a c t u a l l y her new source of power over him for when F i l i b e r t o h esitates to forgive La C o t t e r i e , Giannina begins to r e c i t e the story of t h i s curious mishap. Though F i l i b e r t o orders her to speak no more of i t , i t i s at t h i s point that he i s f i n a l l y " p a c i f i c a t o " (p. 756), that he forgives a l l and blesses t h e i r marriage, "Siete sposi, s i e t e i n casa, s t a t e d , che i l c i e l o v i benedica" (p. 757). Giannina's f i n a l speech i s another example of her a r t f u l dissimulation. She says that " i l c i e l o . . . non esenta dai rimorsi e dai timori l a f i g l i a " (p. 757) but she does not convince us. (At the end of La locandiera Mirandolina makes a s i m i l a r speech which leaves us just as unconvinced). The remorse Giannina demonstrated i n front of her father quickly d i s s i p a t e d when he forbade her to mention her husband and she responded by saying, "0 accettatelo nel cuor vostro, o saro c o s t r e t t a ad abbandonarvi" (p. 756). For the concluding words of the play to be e f f e c t i v e , Giannina must therefore mean them tongue-in-cheek and speak them s a u c i l y . Before ending t h i s discussion on Uri curioso accidente, we must deal with Costanza for whom there i s no counterpart i n i ' E c o l e des maris. In Moliere's L'Etourdi, however, there i s the character of Leandre who corresponds i n some ways to Costanza. By d e f i n i t i o n , Costanza should be an eiron for she i s i n love with La Cotterie and i s w i l l i n g to r i s k her father's anger i n order to marry him. Although she i s Giannina's r i v a l , Costanza, more than an obstacle to Giannina's and La Cotterie's marriage, turns out to be the v e h i c l e by which they a t t a i n t h e i r happiness. Costanza i s as much taken i n by Giannina's stratagem as F i l i b e r t o but whereas F i l i b e r t o deserves i t , Costanza i s only an innocent v i c t i m . It could be argued, of course, that Costanza as a lover i s a l i t t l e too foolhardy; she i s convinced by F i l i b e r t o ' s words without having any proof from La C o t t e r i e . Isabelle and Giannina, on the contrary, were both very c a r e f u l to assure themselves of t h e i r lover's commitment before proceeding with t h e i r plans. In any case, t h i s argument does not r e c o n c i l e us with Costanza's unhappi-ness at the end of the play for her f i n a l predicament i s disproportionate - 33 -to her foolhardiness. In L'Etourdi, Leandre, although he i s young and i n love, functions as an alazon because, l i k e Costanza, he i s the r i v a l of one of the l o v e r s . This contradiction i s resolved i n the Moliere play by having Leandre withdraw from the contest for C e l i e and marrying him to another beauty. But no such consolation awaits Costanza at the end of Un curioso accidente. Instead, she i s ordered by her father to be hence-f o r t h "chiusa f r a quattro mura" (p. 754), a s i t u a t i o n which i s appropriate at the beginning of a comedy as many of Moliere's and Goldoni's plays demonstrate but not at i t s end. Perhaps that i s exactly Goldoni's point: the only way to accept Costanza's fate i s to consider her p l i g h t the basis for another comedy. And i f we believe i n the motto of comedy that "1'amour rend i n v e n t i f , " (v. 339), we need not be concerned for Costanza's sake for she w i l l not remain a prisoner for long i n her father's house, once she has learned the d i f f e r e n c e between requited and unrequited love. * * * The young lovers i n L'Ecole des maris and i n Un curioso accidente prove themselves very adept i n deceiving the blocking figures i n order to marry each other. It r a r e l y occurs, even i n plays where the t r i c k s t e r i s a servant f i g u r e , that " t r i c k e r y alone s u f f i c e s to bring about the comic 9 triumph," as i t does i n these two plays. Here, unaided by a servant or trusted f r i e n d , the young lovers, the young women i n p a r t i c u l a r , are the a r c h i t e c t s of the comic act i o n . I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , , however, that the young g i r l i s the main t r i c k s t e r f o r , although guarded and home-bound and therefore i n a s i t u a t i o n r e q u i r i n g greater ingenuity than the young man's, she has more to gain and l e s s to lose than he does i n t r i c k i n g the blocking f i g u r e . The young men, Valere and La C o t t e r i e , are at least free to roam - 34 -about and experience the w o r l d — L a Cotterie i s an o f f i c e r i n the French army—and they are thus not i n the same subordinate p o s i t i o n to the blocking fi g u r e as the women are. Since a woman can only expect to be transferred from the guarded home of her father to that of her husband, l e t i t at le a s t be a prison of love, of tenderness, a marriage "rempli de p l a i s i r s " (L'Ecole des femmes, v. 1518), " [de] propos. . .gentils e t . . .douces caresses" (v. 608). Moreover, the more subservient i s the p o s i t i o n of the t r i c k s t e r , the more e f f e c t i v e and savory i s the comic r e v e r s a l wherein the blocking f i g u r e i s made subordinate to the t r i c k s t e r for the duration of the deception. In few comedies i s t h i s comic r e v e r s a l as pleasing as i n Moliere's L'Ecole des femmes, written a year a f t e r L'Ecole des maris. Here, the s i t u a t i o n i s very s i m i l a r to the one i n L'Ecole des maris except that while "Sganarelle's tyranny has not prevented h i s ward from becoming a woman. . . Arnolphe has succeeded i n keeping [AgnesJ a c h i l d . A r n o l p h e has rai s e d Agnes i n t o t a l ignorance "pour l a rendre i d i o t e autant q u ' i l p o u r r a i t " (v. 138) because he wants a d o c i l e and f a i t h f u l wife. Being cuckolded thus concerns him more than winning her love. Arnolphe, however, i s f o i l e d by nature;';, despite a l l h i s e f f o r t s , Agnes responds to Horace's love and wants to marry him. Like Sganarelle and F i l i b e r t o , Arnolphe never takes into consideration the power of love which teaches " l ' a r t d'aiguiser l e s e s p r i t s " (v. 919). We r e l i s h Agnes's t r i c k i n g of Arnolphe a l l the more because, unlike I s a b e l l e and Giannina, she i s completely ignorant of the ways of the world, and because, since Horace has confided i n him, Arnolphe i s i n a much stronger p o s i t i o n than Sganarelle and F i l i b e r t o . In L'Ecole  des maris, i n Un curioso accidente, and i n many other comedies, we see how - 35 -love generates ingenuity but nowhere i s t h i s p r i n c i p l e so basic as i n L'Ecole des femmes where love i s portrayed as a natural and p o s i t i v e force which knows no obstacles. Even the most meek and naive lovers w i l l i n s t i n c t i v e l y resort to t r i c k e r y and dissimulation i f necessary for the s u r v i v a l of t h e i r love. This i s the case with Agnes whose newly awakened passion for Horace goes hand i n hand with her new-found need to dissimulate i n front of Arnolphe. The Agnes at the beginning of the play naively t e l l s Arnolphe a l l that has happened between her and Horace and a l l that she f e e l s for him; the moment, however, that Arnolphe forbids her ever to communicate again with Horace, Agnes becomes an able t r i c k s t e r . The rock she throws at Horace i n Arnolphe's presence with her accompanying words of "Retirez-vous;: mon ame aux v i s i t e s renounce;/Je sais tous vos discours, et v o i l a ma reponse" (w. 912-3) means one thing to Arnolphe and another to Horace. Like Isabelle and Giannina, Agnes i s able to communicate two d i f f e r e n t meanings with the same message. Her words and gesture convince Arnolphe that she spurns Horace while i t draws Horace's attention to the love l e t t e r attached to the rock and to her true fee l i n g s for him. Later on, when Arnolphe comes to v i s i t Agnes i n her room, she s u c c e s s f u l l y feigns nonchalance and returns h i s gaze unperturbed even though Horace i s hidden i n her c l o s e t . "L1amour est un grand maitre" (v. 900) " [ q u i j a commence de. . .dechirer l e v o i l e " (v. 956) of Agnes's ignorance. In her letterr.to Horace, Agnes h e r s e l f best expresses her awakening to love: Comme j e commence a connaitre qu'on m'a toujours tenue dans 1'ignorance, j ' a i peur de mettre quelque chose qui ne s o i t pas bien, et d'en d i r e plus que je ne devrais. En v e r i t e , j e ne s a i s ce que vous m'avez f a i t ; , mais je sens que je suis fachee a mourir de ce qu'on me f a i t f a i r e contre vous, que j ' a u r a i toutes l e s peines du monde a me passer de vous, et que je serais bien aise d'etre a - 36 -vous. Peut-etre q u ' i l y a du mal a dir e cela"; mais enfin je ne puis m'empecher de l e d i r e , et je voudrais que c e l a se put f a i r e sans q u ' i l y en eut. (p. 6 9 ) Again, l i k e I s a b e l l e and Giannina, Agnes reveals a c e r t a i n reluctance i n being too bold, i n doing something that goes against decorum, but her love for Horace i s stronger than any fear. Few heroines of comedy are as j u s t i f i e d as Agnes i n r e b e l l i n g against a blocking fi g u r e for few alazons are as t y r a n n i c a l and oppressive as Arnolphe. Not content to r e s t r a i n her freedom and to marry her against her w i l l , a common pr a c t i c e i n Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies, Arnolphe also seeks to mould her "comme un morceau de c i r e entre (ses] mains" (v. 810) and to d i r e c t her soul. Arnolphe wants to create a human being according to h i s s p e c i f i c a t i o n s ; he thus encroaches 'upon the functions of God as c r e a t o r . " ^ In deceiving Arnolphe, Agnes i s defending not only her r i g h t to love and happiness but also her sense of i d e n t i t y , and i f we remember that Moliere and Goldoni wrote for predomi-nantly C h r i s t i a n audiences, her s p i r i t u a l welfare as w e l l . I t i s " t h i s sense of s e l f - f u l f i l m e n t , of s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n i n the very course of the actio n , so exceptional i n a dramatic t r a d i t i o n centred on fixed types," as Knutson says, which " i s one of the main reason for t h i s comedy's compel-12 l i n g appeal." In L'Ecole des femmes, t r i c k e r y i s not j u s t a means to f u l f i l l i n g a d e sire. In t h i s play we encounter a more fundamental l i n k , that of t r i c k e r y with s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n , with s u r v i v a l , a l i n k that has a b i o l o g i c a l b a s i s , and which i s implied i n every comedy where a young man and woman seek to come together and are forced to resort to t r i c k e r y i n order to r e a l i z e t h i s goal. The natural r e s u l t of t h e i r union i s reproduc-t i o n , the s u r v i v a l of the human race and the preservation or continuity of the s e l f through one's c h i l d r e n . Langer d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between the comic rhythm and the t r a g i c rhythm by explaining that "comedy presents the v i t a l rhythm of s e l f - p r e s e r v a t i o n [whereas] tragedy e x h i b i t s that of s e l f -13 consummation." Again, according to Langer, "what j u s t i f i e s the term 'comedy' i s . . .that the Comus was a f e r t i l i t y r i t e , and the god i t celebrated a f e r t i l i t y god, a symbol of perpetual r e b i r t h , eternal l i f e . " ^ At t h i s point, i t i s worthwhile to p o s i t Goldoni's Gl finnamorati, written a year a f t e r Un curioso accidente, as a counterpoint to L'Ecole des femmes for i n t h i s comedy we see that love i s not always the wonderful, almost miraculous, l i b e r a l i z i n g force that i s portrayed i n L'Ecole des maris and i n Un curioso accidente and epitomized i n L'Ecole des femmes. Love can have negative side e f f e c t s . The s i t u a t i o n of Eugenia and Fulgenzio, the young lovers i n Gl'innamorati, d i f f e r s from that of the lovers i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy because t h e i r engagement has been approved by both f a m i l i e s ; they are only waiting for the imminent return of Anselmo, Fulgenzio's brother, before performing the ceremony. There are no obstacles to t h e i r union, a fa c t which i s underscored by the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of F a b r i z i o , Eugenia's uncle and l e g a l guardian. The only character i n the play who could function as a t r a d i t i o n a l blocking f i g u r e , F a b r i z i o i s an i n e f f e c t u a l and bumbling f o o l . Consequently, there i s no need for Eugenia and Fulgenzio to behave with ingenuity and resourcefulness. On the contrary, we see them acting f o o l i s h l y and rashly to that point that they almost bring about t h e i r separation. Eugenia and Fulgenzio, however, are no l e s s i n love than any other couple i n comedy, for as L i s e t t e , Eugenia's servant explains, i f they did not love each other so much, they would not be so jealous of each other. Their jealousy causes them to act r i g i d l y , to be i n t o l e r a n t , - 38 -possessive, narrow-minded, even c r u e l and v i n d i c t i v e . They also reveal a lack of self-knowledge by automatically assuming the worst i n the other without considering h i s or her own reactions. But although they demonstrate alazon-like c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , they d i f f e r from the true alazon i n that they act r i g i d l y and mechanically only with each other. Moreover, the alazon-l i k e reactions of the young lovers are often the r e s u l t of youthful impetuosity, a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p e c i a l to lovers and a l i e n to alazons. Impetuosity of rashness can be described as an excess of spontaneity and exuberance;, to be rash i s i n a sense to be o v e r - f l e x i b l e . Impetuosity i s r e s t r i c t i n g when i t makes one act without thinking as L e l i e does i n L'Etourdi or blur r e a l i t y with appearance as Giannina does i n Un curioso accidente. Instead of being able to understand i n t e n t i o n a l double entendres and to communicate with each other at a l e v e l unperceived by others, as the couples do i n the plays already discussed, Eugenia and Fulgenzio attach secondary meanings where there are none to everything the other says and does. When Fulgenzio declines F a b r i z i o ' s i n v i t a t i o n to stay for dinner, Eugenia and Fulgenzio see nonexistent motives i n each other's reactions to t h i s r e f u s a l . Eugenia thinks to h e r s e l f , "Stupisco che non abbia piacere d i r e s t a r a pranzo con me. C i pensa poco,.al vedere;"^ and Fulgenzio, "Mi f a specie che Eugenia non mi dice niente ch'io r e s t i . Segno che non l e preme" (p. 550). Because each i s more concerned with nursing h i s or her private hurt, they neglect to communicate to each other t h e i r keen desire to be i n each other's company. Their sense of being offended also makes them jump to wrong conclusions. Eugenia believes that Fulgenzio does not want to stay because of h i s s o l i c i t u d e f o r h i s s i s t e r - i n - l a w and Rugenia s c o r n f u l l y l e t s him know i t , " V i preme d i andare a casa, per non - 39 -l a s c i a r sola l a slgnora Clorinda vostra cognata. Ecco i l perche. Ha ragione, signor z i o . Non l'obbligate a dar un dispiacere a q u e l l a povera signorina" (p. 550). But Fulgenzio completely misunderstands Eugenia's reaction. Thinking that she does not want him to stay because of Roberto's presence, Fulgenzio analyzes her jealous outburst as something quite d i f f e r e n t from what i t i s , "Vuol rimproverar me, perch'io non abbia occasione d i rimproverar l e i " (p. 550). A s i m i l a r misunderstanding occurs at the end of Act II when Fulgenzio and Eugenia, i n a moment of r e c o n c i l i a -t i o n , are surprised by Clorinda and F a b r i z i o . Fulgenzio, who i s kneeling at Eugenia's f e e t , i s m o r t i f i e d by what Fa b r i z i o w i l l . t h i n k at fi n d i n g him i n a compromising s i t u a t i o n with Eugenia and therefore l e t s F a b r i z i o believe that he f e l t d izzy. Eugenia, however, i s angered by Fulgenzio's explanation and immediately assumes, " S i scusa per cagione d e l l a cognata" (p. 559), and a b i t t e r quarrel ensues. There i s no clear-cut eiron-alazon contest i n t h i s comedy, no eiron i n a subordinate p o s i t i o n to an alazon, no r e v e r s a l of power where the alazon i s made the v i c t i m of the eiron's t r i c k s ; instead, Eugenia and Fulgenzio continuously dupe each other throughout the play. They are t h e i r own alazons, creating themselves the obstacles to t h e i r marriage. Like Sganarelle, F i l i b e r t o , and Arnolphe, Eugenia and Fulgenzio i n s i s t on making another human being f i t h i s or her expectations, except that with the alazons i t i s a one-way imposition of l i m i t a t i o n s whereas with Fulgenzio and Eugenia, i t i s a r e c i p r o c a l process. As eirons acting l i k e alazons, the young lovers constantly seek each other out and constantly p u l l each other apart, as i f they were both simultaneously p o s i t i v e and negative magnetic poles. Throughout the play, Eugenia and Fulgenzio repeatedly come together only to separate; and the structure of the play can be described as a serie s of pulsations, of s y s t o l i c and d i a s t o l i c phases, 16 to borrow Knutson's terms. The young lovers' coming together i s a contraction, a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n or an aff i r m a t i o n of t h e i r love but they cannot sustain t h i s state of contraction; each time they are drawn together, they i n e v i t a b l y f i g h t and separate and an ebb or d i l a t i o n time follows u n t i l the next s y s t o l i c phase. This cycle would repeat i t s e l f i n d e f i n i t e l y were i t not for the timely a r r i v a l of Fulgenzio's brother which removes Clorinda as the object of Eugenia's jealousy and permits Fulgenzio to set a wedding date. It i s not only, as Bonino explains, " l a g e l o s i a f u r i o s a che per alterne f a s i separa ed awince i due giovani amanti,. . .ma c'e i n loro anche una for t e ( s i vorebbe d i r e , b i o l o g i c a ) attrazione ad abbandonarsi ad una pura v i t a sentimentale che non sa n u t r i r s i d i a l t r o che d i se s t e s s a . T h i s search f o r exclusiveness i s se l f - d e f e a t i n g and ultim a t e l y r i s k s t h e i r happiness: i t leads Fulgenzio to attempt s u i c i d e i n Act I I and Eugenia to desire entering a convent and to agree to marry Roberto, who she does not love. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , both of Eugenia's reactions are usually the conditions imposed upon a heroine by a blocking f i g u r e . These are s e l f -18 consummating actions, i n d i c a t i v e of tragedy and not comedy which suggests that r i g i d i t y , when i t i s not counteracted and overcome by f l e x i b i l i t y , leads to tragedy. After a l l , i f the blocking figures had t h e i r way i n comedy, none of the endings would be happy. When we go from comedy to tragedy, the comic formula which portrays f l e x i b i l i t y as p o s i t i v e and r i g i d i t y as negative i s reversed. R i g i d i t y i s the over-riding c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , p a r t i c u l a r l y as the i n a b i l i t y or r e f u s a l to compromise, of the t r a g i c hero or heroine. When we f i n d f l e x i b i l i t y i n tragedy, i t i s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c - 41 -of the non-heroic characters, of the c o l l a b o r a t o r s , whether they are confidants or t r a i t o r s . This t r a g i c r e v e r s a l i s exemplified i n Othello where Iago, the t r i c k s t e r - l i k e f i g u r e , i s v i l l a i n o u s , and Othello, the hero, i s r i g i d and i n f l e x i b l e . In Goldoni's II r i t o r n o d e l l a v i l l e g g i a t u r a , for example, Giacinta acts and sounds very much l i k e a t r a g i c heroine when at the end of the play she resolves f or honour's sake to marry Leonardo even though she loves Guglielmo and expresses her anguish, "nell'abbandonare un si" caro oggetto mi s i stacca i l cuore dal seno, ed e un miracolo ch'io non soccomba. Ma l o stato mio l o r i c h i e d e , l a mia v i r t u mi s o l l e c i t a , 19 l'onore a c i o mi c o n s i g l i a . " For Giacinta, the question of r e s o r t i n g to dissimulation and deception i n order to marry Guglielmo never even a r i s e s . Bonino describes t h i s comedy as the celebration of the triumph of " l a 20 s o c i a l i t a ' ( ' l e g e n t i ' , ' i l mondo')" over " l ' e r o s . . .ma i n un'aura cosi" s t r a v o l t a , c o s i cupa, da assomigliare. . .ad una s c o n f i t t a . II s o c i a l e , 21 anzi l'economico, ora inchioda 1 1 i n d i v i d u a l e e l o soggioga." Gl'innamorati, however, unlike II r i t o r n o d e l l a v i l l e g g i a t u r a , never r i s k s becoming t r a g i c for the simple reason that Eugenia and Fulgenzio continuously repeat themselves. At each of t h e i r encounters, they follow the same routine: Eugenia, s o f i s t i c a and p u n t i g l i o s a , finds f a u l t with Fulgenzio who, being "caldo, i n t o l l e r a n t e , [ V ] subitaneo" (p. 539), overreacts and the two squabble. By the eighth scene of the f i r s t act, t h i s pattern has been repeated twice; we thus know early on how Eugenia and Fulgenzio are going to react and we laugh each time our expectations are met and we see them trapped i n t h i s pattern of t h e i r own doing. We can agree with Flamminia, Eugenia's s i s t e r , that " s i potrebbe far sopra d i loro l a p i u b e l l a commedia d i questo mondo" (p. 539) . According to Bergson, a - 42 -character who repeats a gesture i s comical because he resembles "une 22 mecanique qui fonctionne automatiquement." The same thing i s true f o r Eugenia and Fulgenzio. Even though i t i s t h e i r r eaction and responses 23 which are repeated, i t i s s t i l l "de 1'automatisme i n s t a l l e dans l a v i e . " However, we do not laugh at them i n the same way that we laugh at blocking f i g u r e s . As Knutson explains, "seventeenth century comic theory i s i n i t s 24 broadest sense d u a l i s t i c , " and I would advance for Goldoni what Knutson advances f o r Moliere):! "along with d e r i s i v e laughter directed at comic butts, we experience a more indulgent mirth f o r the young heroes and heroines of comedy. They are our moral equals and we share t h e i r v i s i o n of society; our only s u p e r i o r i t y over them i s i n our t o t a l knowledge of the s i t u a t i o n and t h e i r p a r t i a l awareness as they struggle against the machina-25 tions of the obstacle f i g u r e , " and i n the case of Gl'innamorati, as they struggle against t h e i r own paralysing passions. "This laughter. . . i s 26 indulgent, sympathetic, even tinged with pathos." Lanson makes t h i s same point i n h i s essay "Sur Le Rire de Bergson" when he agrees with Bergson that " i l y a un r i r e de c o r r e c t i o n " but adds that there i s also "un r i r e de sympatnie. A look at the r o l e of the servants i n L'Ecole des femmes and i n Gl'innamorati w i l l reveal further the d i f f e r e n t portrayals of love i n the two plays. That the young lovers i n L'Ecole des femmes are shown not to need the help of servants emphasizes the p o s i t i v e e f f e c t s of love: i t expands and l i b e r a l i z e s the mind and makes lovers inventive and resourceful. As a consequence the servants i n L'Ecole des femmes are i n d i f f e r e n t to the p l i g h t of the young lovers . Georgette and A l a i n are concerned rather about - 43 -t h e i r own s u r v i v a l . And i f they help anyone, i t i s only because t h e i r own s i t u a t i o n w i l l benefit as a r e s u l t . They therefore accept Horace's bribes and give him access to the house u n t i l Arnolphe discovers t h e i r involvement. When he threatens to beat them i f they ever l e t Horace into the house again, t h e i r allegiance switches to Arnolphe, although through t h e i r blundering and clumsiness, they unwittingly save the s i t u a t i o n f o r the young lovers. There are i n d i c a t i o n s i n the play that Georgette and A l a i n are not as stupid as they appear. When they i n s u l t and h i t Arnolphe and keep h i s money, i t i s not c e r t a i n to what extent they are feigning .. ignorance and enjoying mistreating them. What i s c e r t a i n i s that they are b r u t a l i z e d by him and fear him. In Gl'innamorati, however, i n order to underline the negative and r e s t r i c t i n g e f f e c t s of love which make Eugenia and Fulgenzio create the obstacles to t h e i r happiness, the servants are sympathetic to and concerned about t h e i r young master and mistress but unable to help them. This i s more l i k e the s i t u a t i o n i n L'Ecole des maris and Un curioso accidente where the servants are sympathetic, although i n these two plays the fact that they cannot help the young lovers i s meant to underline the young lovers' resourcefulness. Both L i s e t t e and Tognino are f r u s t r a t e d by the fact that they cannot do anything but f e e l sorry for Eugenia and Fulgnezio. This p a r a l y s i s on the part of the servants i s dramatized i n the d e l i g h t f u l f i r s t scene of Act III where, anxious about the angry noises that are coming from the other room, they peer through the key hole i n order to follow what i s happening, for a l l they can do, l i t e r a l l y , i s keep an eye on the young lovers. It i s while they are taking turns looking through the key hole that Tognino thinks to himself, "Non v o r r e i ne meno conoscerlo, non che essere a l suo s e r v i z i o . Mi f a compassione" - 44 -(p. 563). Similarly, Lisette says, "Certo, se durano a far questa v i t a , io non c i sto" (p. 563). Lisette and Tognino would prefer to seek employ-ment elsewhere than stay and have to watch. Fido notes that the servants in Gl* innamorati "oltre che spettatori e attori, sono anche narratori e 28 c r i t i c i . " This description of the servants as c r i t i c s can be applied to the servants in L'Ecole des femmes as well for Alain must explain to Georgette, who finds Arnolphe's behaviour strange, the reason for his possessiveness and Alain can do no better than compare a man's wife to his soup. Fido's comment also relates to Bonino's description of Gl'innamorati as a comedy "sul doppio tema della decadenza della borghesia e delle timide speranze di una 'diversa' socialita affidate alle virtu native del 29 ceto popolare." In L'Ecole des femmes the servants, who would be able to help the young lovers by dissimulating in front of Arnolphe, refuse to get involved, whereas in Gl'innamorati the servants, who are more than willing to offer their services, cannot do anything to help the situation. Although in each case, there has to be an outside intervention in order for there to be a happy ending, the role of the servants in either play is superfluous to the outcome of the lovers' happiness. Eugenia and Fulgenzio are not the only lovers in comedy who are both eiron and alazon. Goldoni's I due gemelli veneziani (1747) and Moliere's Le Depit amoureux (1656) and Sganarelle ou le Cocu imaginaire (1660) ( a l l three early works of the authors) are a l l similar to Gl*innamorati in that the young lovers are, like Eugenia and Fulgenzio, subject to jea-lousy and impetuousity which causes them to be the ones to create the obstacles to their happiness. Although there is a blocking father figure in Sganarelle, the young lovers make their situation worse, in particular, - 45 -the young heroine, who agrees to marry her father's choice i n order to spite her lover, as Eugenia does at the end of Gl'innamorati. In I due gemelli veneziani, the young lovers have already overcome the blocking figures by running away, and i n Le Depit amoureux, L u c i l e ' s father approves of Eraste. In these comedies "the a n t i t h e t i c a l force. . . s h i f t s from the father figure toward the r i v a l ; the dynamic p r i n c i p l e comes from within the i d e a l i z e d society i t s e l f , not from a struggle between two opposing u n i t s : what i n t e r e s t s us are the demands made upon the lovers by the r e l a t i v e success of the s u i t o r s i n f u l f i l l i n g these demands, the ensuing episodes of jealousy, misunderstandings, separations, disguises to preserve 30 reputation or decorum." Blinded by t h e i r passion, the young lovers act mechanically and r i g i d l y l i k e Eugenia and Fulgenzio. Whenever they hear or see something which compromises the reputation of the other i n t h e i r regard, they automatically assume the worst: betr a y a l . With the exception of Beatrice i n I due gemelli veneziani, who confuses Zanetto for Tonino, a l l of the lovers are quick to believe i n the i n f i d e l i t y of t h e i r beloved on the basis of hearsay alone, and on that basis are ready to break o f f t h e i r engagement. As i n Gl'innamorati, the servants i n these plays do not help the young lovers i n getting together. In Le Depit amoureux, Gros Rene, Eraste's v a l e t , and Marinette, L u c i l e ' s servant, are also i n love; they p a r a l l e l Eraste's and L u c i l e ' s passion i n a more crude form but act just as r i g i d l y . In Sganarelle, L e l i e ' s servant i s more concerned about h i s next meal than h i s master's love. And Celie's servant advises her to marry whomever, as long as she gets a husband. Although there are servants i n I due gemelli veneziani, they are not Beatrice's or Tonino's, and Arlecchino and Colombina are more interested i n s a t i s f y i n g t h e i r own need for love than i n helping anyone e l s e . - 46 -Le Depit amoureux, Sganarelle, and I due gemelli veneziani would appear to have l i t t l e i n common aside from the s i m i l a r behaviour of the young lovers, but they are rela t e d i n another way. They a l l bear the influence of the Spanish comedies of i n t r i g u e , or as they are also known, romanesque comedies. Mongredien describes Le Depit amoureux as "une comedie d'intrigue, romanesque, comportant un imbroglio extremement complique, aux 31 p e r i p e t i e s innombrables." Although most of the characters i n I due gemelli veneziani are those of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e (and the d i s t i n c t i o n made between Zanetto and Tonino can be seen to represent the t r a d i t i o n a l dichotomy i n the commedia d e l l ' a r t e between Arlecchino, the d o l t i s h Zanni and B r i g h e l l a , the astute one) and although i t i s said that the "commedia d e l l ' a r t e e essenzialmente commedia d i i n t r e c c i o , e sempre d i i n t r e c c i o 32 amoroso," there i s i n t h i s comedy, "l'eco d i una diversa, quasi a n t i t e t i c a tradizione drammaturgica: que l l a d e l l a commedia romanzesca o d ' i n t r i g o , 33 f o l t a d i agguati, d u e l l i , t e n t a t i o m i c i d i , v e l e n i , p r o c e s s i . " Sganarelle i s also based on an imbroglio; "c'est une etonnante s u i t e de malentendus 34 et de quiproquos," except that here Moliere treats t h i s subject "dans l e 35 r e g i s t r e de l a f a r c e . " Frye distinguishes between "two ways of developing the form of comedy: one i s to throw the main emphasis on the blocking characters; the other i s to throw i t forward, on the scenes of discovery 36 and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n , " a d i s t i n c t i o n which harmonizes with the theme of f l e x i b i l i t y and r i g i d i t y i n comedy stressed i n t h i s study, for one i s the form of the comedies L'Ecole des maris, L'Ecole des femmes, and Un curioso  accidente where the young lovers must demonstrate ingenuity i n face of opposition whereas the other describes the comedies of i n t r i g u e where "the impediments to true love stem. . .from the lovers themselves; f a l s e appear-- 47 -37 ances and misunderstanding become the main vehicles for p l o t development." Interesting enough, though Frye says the former to be the "tendency of comic irony, s a t i r e , realism, and studies of manner" and the l a t t e r , "the 38 tendency of Shakespearean and other types of romantic comedy," Gl'innamorati, which i n more than one way f i t s the d e s c r i p t i o n of comedies of i n t r i g u e , i s the most p l a u s i b l e of the comedies discussed so f a r i n t h i s chapter. Le Depit amoureux, Sganarelle, I due gemelli veneziani, and Gl'innamorati are also s i m i l a r .in that the cause of the young lovers' unhappiness i s due to an odd number of young people. U n t i l the odd number i s evened out, there can be no happy ending; t h i s i s exactly what happens i n each of these comedies. In Le Depit amoureux, when Frosine has explained everything to Polydore, Ascagne i s revealed to be a woman and the one who has s e c r e t l y married Valere. Eraste, therefore, no longer has to fear a r i v a l . Moreover, since M a s c a r i l l e refuses to marry, Gros-Rene and Marinette are free to make t h e i r happiness. Each of the two lovers i n Sganarelle thinks the other i s attached to another u n t i l La Suivante steps i n so that C e l i e and L e l i e can sort out t h e i r misunderstandings. Their troubles, however, are not over u n t i l V i l l e b r e q u i n a r r i v e s to say that h i s son has married someone else and Gorgibus can therefore no longer refuse h i s daughter to L e l i e . In Gl'innamorati, with Anselmo's return, Clorinda once again forms a couple with her husband and as far as Eugenia i s concerned, ceases to be a r i v a l . And Flamminia convinces Roberto to withdraw h i s marriage proposal to Eugenia by explaining that her dowry w i l l be very small. The ending of I due gemelli veneziani i s a l i t t l e more racy and s i n i s t e r . In t h i s play, there are too many young men for the number of 39 young women, and Zanetto, the gemello sciocco," must be k i l l e d o f f . - 48 -Once i t i s revealed that h i s fiancee, Rosaura, i s h i s long-lost s i s t e r , however, h i s death i s considered timely and even appropriate. At t h i s point, L e l i o , one of Tonino's r i v a l s for the hand of Beatrice, agrees to marry Rosaura. The study of r i g i d i t y i n young lovers, of eirons acting as alazons i n the comedies of Moliere and Goldoni would not be complete without a look at Goldoni's Le baruffe chiozzotte and Moliere's Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s , two completely d i f f e r e n t p l a y s — L e s Precieuses r i d i c u l e s i s a c t u a l l y only a farce—comparable to each other only i n that both contain eirons behaving r i g i d l y . I t i s , however, also i n t e r e s t i n g to note that both works were at f i r s t polemical, Le baruffe chiozzotte, for representing r e a l i t y , Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s , for s a t i r i z i n g an a f f e c t a t i o n of the time. Goldoni found i t necessary to defend his comedy i n i t s preface where he says, "credo e sostengo, che s i a un merito d e l l a Commedia l ' e s a t t a imitazione 40 d e l l a natura;" and Moliere "avait p r i s des precautions, repandant partout l e b r u i t q u ' i l ne v i s a i t pas l e s excellentes precieuses parisiennes, mais. leurs r i d i c u l e s i m i t a t r i c e s , ces 'pecques p r o v i n c i a l e s ' q u ' i l avait 41 rencontrees dans ses peregrinations." Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s . . i n t e r e s t s us because i t i s i n several ways the inverse of L'Ecole des femmes. F i r s t of a l l , the traditional" comic p l o t and eiron-alazon alignment i s inverted. Gorgibus, i n i n s i s t i n g that h i s daughter and niece accept Du Croisy and La Grange as t h e i r husbands, i s not the usual blocking figure of t r a d i t i o n a l comedy for neither Magdelon nor Cathos i s i n love with anyone else and they do not r e s i s t Gorgibus' order because of the lack of love i n these arrangements but because Gorgibus' intervention and the young men's behaviour do not conform to the young l a d i e s ' ideas of love, gleaned from the p a s t o r a l and heroic novels of the time. According to them, - 49 -II faut qu'un amant, pour etre agreable, sache debiter l e s beaux sentiments, pousser l e doux, l e tendre et l e passionne, et que sa recherche s o i t dans les formes. . . Apres c e l a viennent l e s aventures, l e s rivaux qui se j e t t e n t a l a traverse d'une i n c l i n a t i o n e t a b l i e , l e s persecutions des peres, l e s j a l o u s i e s concues sur de fausses apparences, les p l a i n t e s , les desespoirs, l e s enlevements, et ce qui s'ensuit. V o i l a comme le s choses se t r a i t e n t dans l e s b e l l e s manieres et ce sont des regies dont, en bonne galanterie, on ne saurait se dispenser. (Precieuses, p. 230) They rebel against Gorgibus 1 concept of marriage, saying that " i l ne se peut r i e n de plus marchand que ce procede" (p. 230) , but i f they take exception to t h i s type of marriage, i t i s not because i t makes of love a business transaction and women, property, but because i t means "prendre. . . l e roman par l a queue" (p. 230) . "To Gorgibus' conventional a t t i t u d e concerning marriage, fthey oppose] ideas j u s t as conventional i f somewhat 42 more fashionable." Thus, Magdelon and Cathos are not true precieuses, f o r "ce mouvement precieux. . .recouvraint d ' a i l l e u r s un mouvement feministe tres h a r d i , qui prechait 1'emancipation de l a femme, l e d r o i t a l 1amour, et l u t t a i t vigoureusement contre l e s contraintes s o c i a l e s du mariage bourgeois, ou l a jeune f i l l e e t a i t a lors l e plus souvent s a c r i f i c e a des i n t e r e t s d'argent." It i s not of Gorgibus' plans that Du Croisy and La Grange are c r i t i c a l but of the young women's rudeness. Thus, the father's choice i n t h i s play, "usually i n i m i c a l to the romantic i n t e r e s t of Moliere's t y p i c a l n44 comedy, i s here i m p l i c i t l y accepted as the r i g h t one, and indeed, the normal procedure. "In 17th century France, a marriage was much less an arrangement between two i n d i v i d u a l s than an a f f a i r s e t t l e d between two 45 f a m i l i e s . " Given the r e a l i s t i c background, Gorgibus i s behaving l i b e r a l l y i n comparison to the average blocking father and probably more f a i r l y than - 50 -the average f a t h e r i n 17th French s o c i e t y i n a l l o w i n g the young women to re c e i v e the young men before they are married. Though he has commanded Magdelon and Cathos to t r e a t Du Cr o i s y and La Grange "comme des personnes qu'£il] v o u l a i [ t ] JleurJ donner pour maris" (p. 229), he i s g i v i n g them the opportunity, however s m a l l , to become acquainted, and when he questions the two young men a f t e r they have been r e b u f f e d , " l e s a f f a i r e s i r o n t - e l l e s bien? Quel est l e r e s u l t a t de c e t t e v i s i t e ? " (p. 228), he seems to imply that he i s g i v i n g the young people a chance to decide f o r themselves whether they want each other or not. But a f t e r having heard Magdelon's and Cathos 1 "baragouin" (p. 231), Gorgibus r e a c t s much more sever e l y . His orders " j e veux resolument que vous vous d i s p o s i e z a l e s r e c e v o i r pour maris" (p. 231) and " j e veux e t r e maitre absolu. . .vous serez mariees toutes deux avant q u ' i l s o i t peu, ou, ma f o i ! vous serex r e l i g i e u s e s " (p. 232) are much more imperative than "Vous a v a i s - j e pas commande de l e s r e c e v o i r comme des personnes que j e v o u l a i s vous donner pour maris?" (p. 229). In any case, Gorgibus does not f u n c t i o n as an alazon i n the play because that r o l e i s assumed by Magdelon and Cathos; i t i s a f t e r a l l they who are t r i c k e d here and not Gorgibus. L i k e a l l alazons, Magdelon and Cathos are e a s i l y f o o l e d because they have r e s t r i c t e d t h e i r minds to see only what they want to see; " t h e i r readings and t h e i r 46 imagination serve merely to feed t h e i r v a n i t y and t h e i r a f f e c t a t i o n . " Consequently, they accept p l a y f o r r e a l i t y , a common e r r o r among alazons as we s h a l l see i n the next chapters. As long as M a s c a r i l l e and Jodelet f i t the forms, act the p a r t , the content does not matter; Magdelon and Cathos cannot d i f f e r e n t i a t e between gentilhommes and l a q u a i s . - 51 -Magdelon and Cathos act as blocking figures not only i n that they refuse to acknowledge La Grange and Du Croisy as s u i t o r s but also because they r e j e c t the b i o l o g i c a l basis of love and marriage; they are not made spontaneous and exuberant by love; instead they want love to f i t r i g i d forms and patterns. In t h i s way, Magdelon and Cathos are the a n t i t h e s i s of Agnes i n L'Ecole des femmes. The fact that they are t r i c k e d r e i n f o r c e s the l i n k established i n L'Ecole des femmes between love and f l e x i b i l i t y . Magdelon and Cathos want to disassociate carnal love from s p i r i t u a l love. They f i n d marriage "une chose tout a f a i t choquante" because of " l a pensee de coucher contre un homme vraiment nu" (p. 231). One could expect such a reaction i n a l i t t l e g i r l but not i n young women of marriageable age. Armande i n Moliere's Les Femmes savantes voices a s i m i l a r sentiment when she asks Clitandre "vous ne goutez point. . ./Cette union des coeurs ou l e s corps n'entrent pas?/Vous ne pouvez aimer que d'une amour grossiere?" (w. 1195-6), though she i s le s s sincere than Magdelon and Cathos for despite Clitandre's wish to love "toute l a personne" (v. 1227), she i s : more than w i l l i n g to marry him. Magdelon, Cathos, and Armande are e s s e n t i a l l y no d i f f e r e n t from a l l other alazons who r e j e c t "the basic r e a f f i r m a t i o n of the r i g h t s of body over s p i r i t , of freedom and desire 47 over order and law, of community over property, of l i f e over death." That Magdelon and Cathos are behaving c h i l d i s h l y i s further evidenced when they want to change t h e i r names to Polyxene and Aminte, the names of heroines i n romances. Here, they r e c a l l the highly imaginative orphan g i r l , Anne, i n the children's novel, Anne of Green Gables, who when she f i r s t meets M a r i l l a asks, " W i l l you please c a l l me Cordelia?. . . i t ' s not exactly my name, but I would love to be c a l l e d Cordelia. I t ' s such a - 52 -p e r f e c t l y elegant name. . .And Anne i s such an unromantic name."^ But Anne i s only eleven years old and what i s excusable and maybe even r e f r e s h -ing i n a l i t t l e g i r l i s ludicrous i n young women. Magdelon and Cathos thus deserve to be t r i c k e d , to be played t h i s "piece s a n g l a n i t e " c ( p . 247). Although there i s no romantic f u l f i l l m e n t i n Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s because there are no heroines to act as eirons, the play does a f f i r m a l l the same the triumph of the eiron over the alazon. Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s reveals Moliere's a r i s t o c r a t i c bias and his acceptance of the r i g i d hierarchy of s o c i a l classes i n 17th century France. In wanting to l i v e l i k e the heroines of romantic novels, Magdelon and Cathos are also attempting to l i v e above t h e i r s t a t i o n i n l i f e ; " l eur r i d i c u l e n a i t en grande p a r t i e de l a disproportion qui existe entre 49 leur rang et leurs v i s e e s . " La Grange says that he wants to play a t r i c k on them "qui leur f e r a v o i r leur s o t t i s e , et pourra leur apprendre a connaltre un peu mieux leur monde" (p. 228). I t i s not ju s t the r e a l world as d i s t i n c t from the world of f i c t i o n that Magdelon and Cathos must come to terms with but also with the l i m i t a t i o n s of the bourgeoisie. "In refined society,. . .a s u i t o r may indeed go through some of the courtship r i t u a l of galanterie before the f i n a l matter of marriage i s brought up; but i n the 'precieuses' bourgeois world, such conduct from a future husband would probably have been thought of as a f f e c t a t i o n , " " ^ which explains Gorgibus' as well as La Grange's and Du Croisy's negative reactions to the young women's as p i r a t i o n s . Magdelon and Cathos are as f i t a subject of r i d i c u l e as M a s c a r i l l e , La Grange's v a l e t , "un extravagant, qui s'est mis dans l a tete de v o u l o i r f a i r e l'homme de condition" (p. 228). There i s a p a r a l l e l between Magdelon and Cathos who turn up t h e i r nose at t h e i r kind and M a s c a r i l l e , " [qui] dedaigne les autres v a l e t s , jusqu'a l e s appeler brutaux" (p. 228). If M a s c a r i l l e and Jodelet are beaten at the end of the comedy by t h e i r masters for having done what they were asked to do, these beatings are p a r t l y j u s t i f i e d , from Moliere's perspective, because of t h e i r vain expectations to become something more than v a l e t s . Whereas for Moliere, " l e bourgeois f o u r n i s s a i t a l a comedie un type nettement delimite, avec ses defauts et ses r i d i c u l e s : avarice, f a i b l e s s e de courage, j a l o u s i e , penchant, l e plus souvent bafoue, a l a tyrannie domestique, suffisance rejouissante, egoisme et naivete,"^''' a type d i s t i n c t from the gentleman, from " l e honnete homme. . .forme selon 52 1'ideal de l a c i v i l i t e noble," Goldoni defends the bourgeoisie, e s p e c i a l l y i n the figure of the merchant who, "laborioso e onesto, e q u i l i b r a t o e generoso, prowido e amorevole," "sa-ra. . . i l p o r t a c o l o r i d i quel popolo borghese, n e l l a c u i condotta, moralmente i n e c c e p i b i l e , e nel c u i benessere economico Goldoni tende a i d e n t i f i c a r e i l meglio d i quanto abbia prodotto, n e l l a s t r a t i f i c a z i o n e d e l l e sue c l a s s i , l a Serenissima," and exposes a decadent a r t i s t o c r a c y . In the comedies of h i s maturity, however, the bourgeoisie as protagonist gives way to the popblo."^ An example of such a play i s , of course, Le baruffe chiozzotte Written i n 1761, i t i s one of the l a s t plays that he wrote before h i s departure for Paris i n 1762 and i t i s considered one of h i s greatest works. With Le baruffe chiozzotte, however, Goldoni "sospende, i n p r a t i c a 56 l a sua r i c e r c a drammaturgica." At Le Theatre des I t a l i e n s i n P a r i s , Goldoni was to discover that " [ses} chers compatriotes ne donnoient que des Pieces usees, des Pieces a canevas du mauvais genre que j_il avoitj reforme en I t a l i e , " " ^ and that he would have to s t a r t a l l over again. But - 54 -58 h i s reform "presupponeva un ben preciso rapporto t r a teatro e s o c i e t a " and Goldoni was too much a r e a l i s t not to see the absurdity of w r i t i n g comedies of character i n I t a l i a n f o r a French p u b l i c . He therefore resigned himself to compromise and we see i n the comedies of that period "l'accento s p o s t a r s i d a i personaggi a l l e cose, dai dialogo a l l ' a z i o n e , dai 59 c o n f l i t t i p s i c o l o g i c i a i meccanismi d e g l i e v e n t i . " The t i t l e s of h i s Paris comedies bear witness to t h i s transformation. Whereas during h i s reform, Goldoni's comedies of character a l l have t i t l e s which are names or descriptions of persons, those of h i s P a r i s i a n period have, i n most of the cases, t i t l e s or s u b - t i t l e s "che pongono a pr o t a g o n i s t i l e cose o i 60 meccanismi." Of t h i s group of comedies, II ventaglio i s h i s most important work and of II ventaglio, Momigliano writes, "e f r a l e cose m i g l i o r i del Goldoni per l ' a g i l i t a i n e s a u r i b i l e d e l l e complicazioni, per l a densita e l a r a p i d i t a d e l l ' a z i o n e . " ^ Le baruffe chiozzotte i s e n t i r e l y i n d i a l e c t , not, however, the d i a l e c t of Venice, but of Chioggia as i t i s spoken by " i l popolo minuto dei popolani e d e i pe s c a t o r i , d e l tutto emarginato ed ancora privo d i ogni 62 coscienza d i c l a s s e . " Goldoni found i t necessary to defend h i s choice of representing i n t h i s play and i n previous comedies the lower classes which " l a convenzione t e a t r a l e e una concezione r e a z i o n a r i a riteneva |sic] bass i e indegni d i rappresentazione t e a t r a l e . . .e che e g l i sentiva 63 invece parte v i v a , essenziale d i un vasto tessuto s o c i a l e . " In h i s preface to Le baruffe chiozzotte, Goldoni explains that he has written 64 comedies to s a t i s f y " t u t t i g l i o r d i n i d i persone." He wants " i l bottegaio, i l s e r v i t o r e ed i l povero pescatore" as well as " g l i s p i r i t ! piu s e r i o s i e p i u d e l i c a t i " ^ to frequent and enjoy the theatre. Consequently, Goldoni thought i t "ben giusto, che per piacere a quest'ordine d i persone, che pagano come i N o b i l i e come i R i c c h i , f a c e s s i d e l l e Commedie, n e l l e q u a l i riconoscessero i loro costumi e i loro d i f e t t i , e, mi s i a permesso d i d i r l o , l e loro v i r t u . I f Goldoni seems p a r t i c u l a r l y fond of Chioggia and i t s people, i t i s because he l i v e d and worked there for a time; being a lawyer, he was, while at Chioggia, employed "nello 67 u f f i z i o . d i Coadiutore del C a n c e l l i e r e Criminale" and i t would not seem too u n l i k e l y to see the character of Isidoro, the Coadiutore d e l C a n c e l l i e r e Criminale i n the play, as representing Goldoni himself. We get a glimpse of the playwright i n lawyer's robes when Isidoro says a f t e r having witnessed the antics of the young lovers, "Anca questo per mi xe un 68 divertimento;" he i s the lawyer-playwright who at a l a t e r time w i l l bring to the stage the comedy which he perceived i n everyday l i f e . Without going any deeper into a s o c i o l o g i c a l or c l a s s analysis of Le baurffe chiozzotte, one thing does emerge which i s relevant to t h i s study and that i s that young lovers react i n the same way, whatever t h e i r s o c i a l c l a s s . As i n the other plays, the young lovers here create t h e i r own obstacles to t h e i r happiness. L u c i e t t a and T i t t a Nane are engaged and so are Orsetta and Beppo; i n both cases, the f a m i l i e s approve of t h e i r engagement and a l l that i s required i s to set the wedding date. The young lovers are, however, blinded and r e s t r i c t e d by t h e i r passion. T i t t a Nane and Beppo are subject to jealousy which causes them to believe automatically what others say about t h e i r fiancees and on the basis of hearsay alone, decide to break o f f t h e i r engagement. L u c i e t t a and Orsetta, i n turn, when they are rebuked by t h e i r young man, refuse to be r e c o n c i l e d . What causes the young lovers' misery i s the presence of two other young people, - 56 -Toffolo and Checca, who are s t i l l unattached and looking for a marriage partner. Checca has her eye on T i t t a Nane and Toffolo l i k e s Orsetta's and Lucietta's company. The young people repeatedly come together, exchange words, f i g h t and separate, only to come together again a few scenes l a t e r . Most of the play takes place i n the s t r e e t , i n front of the young lovers' houses, and i t i s made up of a s e r i e s of meetings and separations, of s y s t o l i c and d i a s t o l i c pulsations as i n Gl 1innamorati, except that here we are dealing with groups of people rather than i n d i v i -duals. Unlike i n the other comedies discussed, i n Le baruffe chiozzotte, the young lovers involve the e n t i r e neighbourhood i n t h e i r quarrels; sides are taken and f i g h t s and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n s become a group e f f o r t . Le baruffe chiozzotte i s not a play concerned with i n d i v i d u a l s but with s o c i a l groups, " e l e v a t i , n e l l a loro c o r a l i t a , a p r o t a g o n i s t i , proprio i n quanto ra p p r e s e n t a t i v i d i un atteggiamento largamente condivisoi:: p r o t o t i p i anch'essi, ma non p i u d i una v i r t u o d i un v i z i o i n d i v i d u a l e , quanto d i un 69 insieme d i atteggiamenti, s c e l t e , modi comportamentali." The f i g h t i n g becomes serious at the end of Act I. Knives f l a s h as Beppo and T i t t a Nane threaten Toffolo for being too f r i e n d l y with t h e i r g i r l s and i t takes the intervention of the women and the other men to separate the young men. The act ends on an empty stage as the f a m i l i e s p u l l t h e i r menfolk into t h e i r respective houses and Toffolo leaves, vowing revenge, "Sangue de diana, che l i v o i querelare" (p. 933). Goldoni here footnotes that querelare means going to the magistracy "a dar una querela contro q u e l l i che l'hanno offeso o i n s u l t a t o : s o l i t a vendetta d i quel popolo minuto" (p. 933). Thus, Toffolo involves the Coadiutore Criminale i n the neighbourhood baruffe. The f i s h e r f o l k are none too happy - 57 -about having the a u t h o r i t i e s intervene. Vicenzo t r i e s to convince Isidoro that t h e i r squabbles can be resolved without going to t r i a l and he d i s -t r u s t s Isidoro's i n t e r e s t i n the a f f a i r s of the f i s h e r f o l k , taking i t for a rather too keen i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r women. "Sio s i , e l xe un galantomo; ma i n casa mia no ghe bazzega. Dalle mie donne nol vien a f a r careghetta. S t i s i o r i d a l l a perucca co n u a l t r i pescaori n i i ghe sta ben" (p. 947). Orsetta and Libera, however, handle themselves quite well when they are questioned by Isidoro, revealing a natural astuteness i n face of " s t i s i o r i d a l l a perucca" (p. 947). They succeed i n f r u s t r a t i n g Isidoro to the point that he can stand them no longer and sends them a l l home; "Licenzie quelle donne, mandele v i a , che l e vaga v i a , che no v o i s e n t i r a l t r o " (p. 957), he t e l l s the comandador. The reaction of L u c i e t t a and Pasqua, the women representing the other party, i s comical as they f e e l s l i g h t e d because Isidoro i s sending them away without questioning them l i k e the others. L u c i e t t a complains, "L'ha sentio quelle che gh'ha premesto, e nualtre semo scoazze" (p. 957), and Pasqua threatens, "E se faremo fare g i u s t i z i a " (p. 957). Isidoro's interference, however, i s necessary to help resolve the play. He r e a l i z e s the young lovers' quarrels are due to the uncoupled presence of Toffolo and Checca. He f i r s t t r i e s to match up Checca, for whom he has a penchant,^ with T i t t a Nane since he i s supposed to have s p l i t up with L u c i e t t a . But Isidoro discovers that T i t t a Nane s t i l l loves L u c i e t t a and that he wants no other g i r l ; he had only l e f t her out of jealous anger: Lustrissimo, mi no ghe scambio gnente, l u s t r i s s i m o . L'abbia da saere che a L u c i e t t a , l u s t r i s s i m o , xe do anni che ghe fazzo l'amore, e me son i n s t i z z a o , e ho - 58 -f a t t o quel che ho f a t t o , per z e l u s i a e per amore, e l a gh'ho l i c e n z i a . Ma l a gh'abbia da saere, l u s t r i s s i m o , che a L u c i e t t a che voggio ben, ghe voggio; e co un omo xe i n s t i z z a o , nol sa quello ch'a se dighe. Stamattina L u c i e t t a l'averave mazza, e za un puoco gh'ho volesto dare martello; ma co ghe penso, mare de diana! l u s t r i s s i m o , no l a posso lassare; e ghe voggio ben, ghe voggio. La m'ha affrontao, l a gh'ho licenzia.; ma me schioppa e l cuor. (pp. 968-9) T i t t a Nane's words are simple but sincere and they s t i r us as much as, i f not more than, the words of a well-born lover. I t does not take Isidoro very long, however, to r e a l i z e that the s i t u a t i o n could be righted i f Toffolo and Checca were coupled together. Everyone i s happy with Isidoro's suggestion and without too much d i f f i c u l t y , Orsetta and Beppo, and L u c i e t t a and T i t t a Nane make up as everyone comes out of t h e i r house to j o i n i n the young couples' happiness. In helping to straighten out the misunderstandings which prevented the young people from being happily married, Isidoro has a s i m i l a r function to Frosine i n Le Depit amoureux, La Suivante i n Sganarelle, and Flammina i n Gl'innamorati. Le baruffe chiozzatte ends i n a j o y f u l dance, and the whole play could be described as repeated attempts to form a dance but i n each case the dance was doomed to f a i l because the couples were not yet complete. I t was as i f the young lovers lacked a c a l l e r for the dance, a p o s i t i o n s u c c e s s f u l l y f i l l e d by Isidoro for i t i s only through h i s doing that the young people can j o i n , together to everyone's s a t i s f a c t i o n and that the dance can go on. * * * We have thus seen i n several plays how young' lovers are so involved i n themselves, so c a r r i e d away by t h e i r passion that they need outside help i n order to marry. Add to t h e i r s i t u a t i o n a r i g i d and uncom-promising blocking figure who opposes t h e i r union and the young lovers' - 59 -need for help increases. "As lovers tend to be impetuous and giddy, they need cooler heads to think for them."^ ''' It must also be noted that since the young lovers are "usually portrayed as well-born" and t h e i r "decorum 72 i s f a i r l y high" — a l l of the young women, Agnes, I s a b e l l e , Giannina, who had to resort to t r i c k e r y were worried about the propriety of t h e i r a c t i o n — " i t i s more f i t t i n g for s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s to do the d i r t y work of 73 comedy," which includes such ignoble actions as l y i n g , cheating, and s t e a l i n g . Thus, servants, unburdened by decorum and emotionally detached, t h e i r wits sharpened by the d a i l y struggle for s u r v i v a l , are i n an i d e a l p o s i t i o n to help the young lover s . Whether or not they are motivated by personal reasons, servants are usually very w i l l i n g to o f f e r t h e i r services i n the cause of love, and the next chapter w i l l deal with these wily creatures as they are portrayed i n Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies. - 60 -•""Georges Mongredien, N o t i c e , L'Ecole des maris, i n Oeuvres  Completes de M o l i e r e , ed. Georges Mongredien ( P a r i s : Garnier-Flammarion, 1964), p. 347. 2 M o l i e r e , L'Ecole des maris, i n Oeuvres Completes, ed. Mongredien ( P a r i s : Garnier-Flammarion, 1964), v. 256. 3 Goldoni, Un c u r i o s o accidente, i n Tutte l e opere, V o l . 7, ed. Giuseppe O r t o l a n i , 3rd ed. (1946; r p t . Verona: Mondadori, 1960), p. 750. 4 In h i s preface to Un curioso a c c i d e n t e , where he claims that t h i s comedy i s based on a true s t o r y , Goldoni describes F i l i b e r t o as b a s i c a l l y "un uomo d i buon fondo" who acts very imprudently i n a d v i s i n g "un giovane a r a p i r e l a f i g l i u o l a d i un a l t r o " ( i n Tutte l e opere, V o l . 7, ed. O r t o l a n i , p. 701). In the o r i g i n a l s t o r y , F i l i b e r t o ' s a c t i o n seems to Goldoni to be u n r e a l i s t i c and out of c h a r a c t e r ; consequently, Goldoni expands upon F i l i b e r t o ' s motives i n order to make the comedy more r e a l i s t i c , and c o r r e l a t i v e l y , to j u s t i f y F i l i b e r t o (that i s the i m p l i c a -t i o n ) . Goldoni thus concludes h i s preface by saying that "per l e Commedie convien prendere i c a r a t t e r i d a l l a n a t u r a , e g l i argomenti d a l l a f a v o l a , p i u t t o s t o che d a l l ' i s t o r i a " (p. 701). F o r t u n a t e l y , Goldoni's m o r a l i z i n g i n the preface does not extend to the comedy. He succeeds i n making the s t o r y more p l a u s i b l e but not i n redeeming F i l i b e r t o . Whether or not Goldoni was conscious of what he was, or r a t h e r , of what he was not doing, i s unimportant; the f a c t remains that F i l i b e r t o i s as much an alazon as S g a n a r e l l e , and that F i l i b e r t o ' s imprudence i s condemnable only because he commits i t w i t h an alazon's frame of mind and not i n the s p i r i t of an e i r o n . Otherwise, we would have to take F i l i b e r t o ' s complacent m o r a l i z i n g as w e l l as Giannina 1s a r t f u l l y c o n t r i v e d remorse at the end as s i n c e r e , and the comedy would r e q u i r e a heaviness of tone which c o n t r a -d i c t s i t s general l i g h t n e s s and s p r i g h t l i n e s s . 5 F r y e , p. 169. The French t r a n s l a t i o n of Un curioso accidente i s e n t i t l e d Le Dupe de soi-meme ( O r t o l a n i , ed., Tutte l e opere d i Carlo Goldoni, V o l . 7, p. 1392). ^Frye, p. 165. 8 F r y e , p. 169. 9 Knutson, p. 69. Knutson, p. 73. - 61 -^J;D. Hubert, Moliere and the Comedy of I n t e l l e c t (Berkley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1962) , p. 8 1 . 12 Knutson, p. 7 3 . 13 Langer, p. 351 . ^Langer, p. 331 . ^ G o l d o n i , Gl'innamorati, i n Commedie, Vol. 2 , ed. Bonino (Milano: Garzanti, 1976) , p. 550. ^Knutson, p. 27 . •^Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLV. Bonino sees i n the t r i a l s of the young lovers i n t h i s play the bourgeoisie i n c r i s i s . In order to give t h i s comedy " t u t t a l a sua profondita," he says that "converebbe guardare anche a l i a condizione s o c i a l e dei personaggi. . .Fulgenzio ed Eugenia sono d e i 'borghesi' e d e i ' c i t t a d i n i ' che s i rimirano, s i sdoppiano, s i fingono q u e l l i che non sono, i n un disperato e a t r a t t i crudele d e l i r i o t r a s f o r m i s t i c o , senza recepire, d e l l a v i t a intorno, a l t r o che l a propria immagine" (p. XLV). In support of Bonino we can mention the r i d i c u l o u s f i g u r e of Fa b r i z i o as representative of a bourgeoisie which i s o s c i l l a t i n g "pericolosamente t r a l a grettezza d i una v i t a misurata c o l contagocce e g l i sperperi d i un'esistenza pretestuosamente sfarzosaV (Bonino, p. XLVI-XLVII). ^^Langer, p..351. 19 Goldoni, II r i t o r n o d a l l a v i l l e g g i a t u r a i n T r i l o g i a d e l l a  v i l l e g g i a t u r a , ed. Bonino (Torino: Einaudi, 1981) , p. 229. 20 Bonino, Introduction, T r i l o g i a d e l l a v i l l e g g i a t u r a , by Carlo Goldoni (Torino: Einaudi, 1981) , p. XXII. Loc. c i t . Langer describes t r a g i c Destiny i n a s i m i l a r way for i t " i s what the man brings, and the world w i l l demand of him." To t r a g i c Destiny or Fate, she opposes "comic Destiny {which} i s fortune—what the world w i l l b ring, and the man w i l l take or miss, encounter or escape" (p. 3 5 2 ) . 22 Bergson, p. 2 5 . 2 3 T Loc. c i t . - 62 -24 Knutson, p. 17. This theory of laughter was c o d i f i e d l a t e r by t h e o r i s t s such as Baudelaire and Freud who "advanced a more comprehensive view of laughter as situated on two l e v e l s , one not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to moral norms" i n contrast to the "castigat ridendo mores theory. . .perpetuated by Hobbes and Bergson" (Knutson, p. 17) . Loc. c i t . Loc. c i t . 27 Gustave Lanson, "Sur Le Rire de Bergson," i n Essais de methode, de c r i t i q u e et d ' h i s t o i f e l i t t e r a i r e , ed. Henri Peyre (1900; r p t . P a r i s : Hachette, 1965), p. 462. 28 Fido, Franco, Guida a Goldoni: Teatro e societa n el settecento (Torino: Einaudi, 1977), p. 114. 29 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLV. "^Knutson, p. 121. 31 Mongredien, Notice, Le Depit amoureux, p. 139. 32 Adolfo B a r t o l i , Scenari i n e d i t i d e l l a commedia d e l l ' a r t e (1880; r p t . Bologna: Torni, 1979), p. X. 33 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XIX. Goldoni a v i d l y read and admired Cicognini (1606-1660), "quell'inesausto manipolatore d e l teatro spagnolo" (Bonino, p. XIX) who introduced t h i s theatre to I t a l y i n the 17th century. Mongredien, Notice, Sganarelle ou l e Cocu imaginaire, p. 249. Loc. c i t . ^ F r y e , p. 166. 37 Knutson, p. 26. "^Frye, pp. 166-7. 39 Goldoni, I due gemelli veneziani, ed. Bonino, Torino: Einaudi, 1975), p. 11. - 63 -^ G o l d o n i , Preface to Le baruffe chiozzotte, i n Commedie, Vol. 2, ed. Bonino, p. 904. ^Mongredien, Notice, Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s , p. 220. 42 Hubert, p. 18. A 3 Mongredien, Notice, Les Precieuses r i d i c u l e s , p. 220. 44 Knutson, p. 149. 45 John Lough, An Introduction to Seventeenth Century France (London: Longmans, Green, 1954), p. 81. 46 Hubert, p. 16. ^ L i o n e l Gossman, "Moliere's Misanthrope: Melancholy and Society i n the Age of the Counterreformation," Theatre Journal, 34 (1982), 325. ^L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908: r p t . Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1968), p. 26. 49 Paul Benichou, Morales du grand s i e c l e (Paris: Gallimard, 1948), p. 173. "^Knutson, pp. 149-50. ''"Benichou, p. 176. Benichou reminds us that " i l ne faut pas oublier que l a bourgeoisie, au XVIIe s i e c l e , j o u i s s a i t encore d'un bien f a i b l e prestige dans l a societe. Les choses s'Sgalisent davantage au s i e c l e suivant" (p. 175). 52 Benichou, p. 173. 53 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XXII. - 64 -54 Moliere's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme and Goldoni's La famiglia  d e l l ' a n t i q u a r i o reveal the d i f f e r e n t class bias of our two playwrights. In Moliere's comedy, the bourgeois who i s t r y i n g to climb the s o c i a l ladder i s made fun of; he functions as an alazon and h i s r i g i d and mechanical reactions are seen as the r e s u l t of h i s bourgeois upbringing. Monsieur Jourdain i s t r i c k e d both by the young lovers and by the a r i s t o c r a t , Dorante. Dorante i s shown to be astute and quick l i k e the young lovers; he i s , moreover, on the side of love. On the other hand, i n Goldoni's comedy, i t i s Pantalone, a representative of the bourgeoisie who i s the most f l e x i b l e and reasonable of a l l the characters, including the young l o v e r s . He t r i e s to modify the r i g i d and uncompromising behaviour of h i s daughter and her a r i s t o c r a t i c mother-in-law i n order that they may l i v e together i n some kind of harmony. In the process, Pantalone wins the respect and support of h i s a r i s t o c r a t i c son-in-law who i s w i l l i n g to learn from him how to administer well a household, something he has not learnt from h i s father, Count Anselmo. In La f a m i g l i a  d e l l ' a n t i q u a r i o , i t i s the a r i s t o c r a t s who are r i d i c u l e d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , Count Anselmo, whose obsession with antiques i s bringing h i s family to r u i n . The Count i s t r i c k e d by h i s r a s c a l servant, B r i g h e l l a , into buying junk and i t i s only through Pantalone's intervention that the Count i s undeceived. "^Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLIV. "^Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLVIII. "^Goldoni, Memoires, i n Tutte l e opere, Vol. 1, ed. O r t o l a n i , 4th ed. (1935; r p t . Verona: Mondadori, 1959), p. 449. 58 L u i g i Lunari, Introduction, II ventaglio, by Carlo Goldoni, ed. Carlo P e d r e t t i (Milano: R i z z o l i , 1980), p. 20. 59 Lunari, pp. 20-1. ^ L u n a r i , p. 20. 61 Momigliano, quoted by Lunari, p. 25. 62 T . Lunarx, p. 13. 63 Walter B i n n i , Settecento maggiore: Goldoni, P a r i n i , A l f i e r i (Milano: Garzanti, 1978), p. 68. 64 Goldoni, Preface to Le Baruffe chiozzotte, p. 906. - 65 -65 Loc. c i t . 66 Goldoni, Preface to Le baruffe chiozzotte, p. 907. 67 Goldoni, Preface to Le baruffe chiozzotte, p. 904. 68 Goldoni, Le baruffe chiozzotte, i n Commedie, V o l . 2, ed. Bonino (Milano: Garzanti, 1976), p. 965. 69 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLIV. Isidoro i s w i l l i n g to furnish Checca with a dowry. Although Isidoro's i n t e r e s t i n Checca could be considered s u s p e c t — t h e fishermen are c e r t a i n l y suspicious of I s i d o r o — i t was not an unusual p r a c t i c e i n Goldoni's time for a r i c h man with honourable intentions to have compas-sion on a poor g i r l and to o f f e r her h i s protection and a dowry. We f i n d t h i s same s i t u a t i o n i n Goldoni's La putta onorata. 71 Knutson, p. 25. 72 Loc. c i t . 73 Loc. c i t . 74 When they become themselves involved emotionally, the servants lose some of t h e i r astuteness: Scapin i n Les fourberies de Scapin, f e a r f u l of being beaten, confesses to past t h e f t s ; T r u f f a l d i n o , i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, concerned that he may not get to marry Smeraldina, exposes h i s a l i b i ; C o r a l l i n a i n La castalda, upset by Beatrice's i n t e r e s t i n Pantalone, reveals more than she should about her own intentions regarding her master, not to mention Valere, the lover disguised as servant i n L'Avare. When Harpagon accuses him of having stolen h i s treasure, Valere, assuming that Harpagon means h i s daughter, loses h i s sang-froid, and t e l l s a l l about h i s involvement with E l i s e . - 66 -CHAPTER TOO "VIVAT. . .FOURBUM IMPERATOR/IMPERATRIX!": THE SERVANT-MASTER CONTEST Both Moliere and Goldoni wrote comedies where the t r i c k s t e r , the a r c h i t e c t u s , i s a servant f i g u r e . Moliere's L'Etourdi, Les Fourberies  de Scapin, Le Malade imaginaire, and L'Amour medecin and Goldoni's II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, La castalda, and La.cameriera b r i l l a n t e f i t the t r a d i t i o n a l comic p l o t ; they a l l demonstrate the eiron-alazon p o l a r i t y with the servant figures j o i n i n g forces with the young people against the blocking characters. Moliere's servants seem to act a l t r u i s -t i c a l l y ; they may complain about t h e i r s i t u a t i o n as servants but they neither seek nor expect any personal gain for t h e i r e f f o r t s . Goldoni's servant f i g u r e s , on the other hand, are a c t i v e l y working not only for the young lovers' happiness but also for t h e i r own. They l e t us know that they have t h e i r own needs to consider, that i f they do not look a f t e r themselves, no one else w i l l . There i s a c e r t a i n humanizing of Goldoni's servant figures which seems to prepare the way for h i s l a t e r comedies where the characters are drawn e n t i r e l y from the classe popolana. Yet, - 67 -t r i c k e r y as a means to s u r v i v a l , to improving one's l o t i n l i f e i s not altogether a l i e n to Moliere's servant f i g u r e s , for i t i s a t r a d i t i o n which dates back to L a t i n comedies where the young master promises freedom to his astute slave i n exchange for h i s help.'' Moliere's L'Etourdi and Les Fourberies de Scapin demarcate h i s wri t i n g career. L'Etourdi, written i n 1655 i s h i s f i r s t f u l l length comedy and the three-act Fourberies de Scapin, from 1671, i s one of his l a s t . The characters i n these two plays are highly s t y l i z e d , based on the types from the commedia d e l l ' arte.:( the scheming v a l e t , the miserly and tyr a n n i c a l fathers, the young lovers. The respective characters i n eit h e r comedy are almost carbon copies of each other; L e l i e i n L'Etourdi i s indi s t i n g u i s h a b l e from Leandre and Octave i n Les Fourberies de Scapin and the same can be said f o r the young women and the father f i g u r e s . In neither comedy do we find-"[unj souci de psychologique ou £une] peinture de 2 -moeurs," which characterize f o r example *Moliere's T a r t u f f e , Pom Juan, and Le Misanthrope. Whereas L'Etourdi i s one of Moliere's f i r s t attempts "de 3 se l i b e r e r du cadre trop e t r o i t de l a fa r c e , " a stepping stone i n the d i r e c t i o n of l a grande comedie, Les Fourberies de Scapin represents a return to fa r c e . This comedy, "reglee comme un mouvement d'horlogerie de 4 haute p r e c i s i o n , " i s a l a s t i n g homage to the v i r t u o s i t y of the commedia  d e l l ' a r t e , whose death Moliere paradoxically helped to bring about with the c r e a t i o n of h i s great comedies of manner and character. II se r v i t o r e  d i due padroni was f i r s t w ritten i n 1745 as a scenario for a commedia  d e l l ' a r t e troupe. Goldoni rewrote i t into a f u l l length comedy i n 1753. Although Goldoni was fascinated by the t h e a t r i c a l mechanics which the commedia d e l l ' a r t e so s k i l l f u l l y set into motion and which Moliere e p i t o -- 68 -mized i n Les Fourberies de Scapin, there was much i n the commedia  d e l l ' a r t e which Goldoni d i s l i k e d ; i n p a r t i c u l a r , " l o i n f a s t i d i v a l a monotonia esasperante dei t i p i , c o d i f i c a t i i n r u o l i con r e l a t i v a maschera, incapace non solo d i esprimere l a costante mutevolezza d e g l i s t a t i d'animo, ma d i suggerire. . .una p l a u s i b i l e caratterizzazione d e l l ' i n d i v i d u o , collegandolo ad un qualche status s o c i a l e , ad un ambiente, ad un'epoca."^ Although i t has been said that II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni "constitutes the crowning glory of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , " i t contains "the seed of something new rather than of something merely ' r e e x p r e s s e d . ' T h e characters i n t h i s play are taken d i r e c t l y from the commedia d e l l ' a r t e : we f i n d Pantalone de f Bisognosi and Dottore Lombardi, the wily v a l e t from Bergamo, the young lovers, but they are not the uniform characters of the two Moliere comedies. The young lovers and the father figures are, i f not as well-rounded as T r u f f a l d i n o , endowed with an i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y . Dottore Lombardi i s a reasonable man, somewhat more s e n s i t i v e to the young people's desires whereas Pantalone i s ruled by h i s greed. S i l v i o i s immature and spoiled; C l a r i c e i s sulky but l o y a l ; Florindo seems brighter and more mature than S i l v i o but he can be arrogant and hot-headed; Beatrice i s brave and clever, and although she can be compassionate, she i s not above amusing h e r s e l f at the others' expense. We thus perceive already i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, which was o r i g i n a l l y destined for g the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , Goldoni's desire to write "commedie de ca r a t t e r e . " Aware, however, of the public's as well as the t h e a t r i c a l troupes' attachment to the types of the commedia d e l l ' a r t e , Goldoni was not w i l l i n g to abolish them immediately, but proceeded slowly to change them; "svuotando man mano l e maschere dei loro t r a d i z i o n a l i a t t r i b u i t i , l e - 69 -9 trasformera i n personaggi." We see the undergoing of t h i s evolution i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni. In the three comedies, the p l o t s are s i m i l a r i n that there are two sets of young people who want to marry but are blocked from doing so by alazon f i g u r e s . It i s , however, the servant fi g u r e who commands our attention i n a l l three plays. The three of them, M a s c a r i l l e , Scapin, and T r u f f a l d i n o , are virtuosos i n the art of fourberie, stars worthy of top b i l l i n g among the many scheming servants and slaves who have graced western comedies since c l a s s i c a l times. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, l i k e T r u f f a l d i n o , e s s e n t i a l l y serve two masters, and i f Corbolo i n Ariosto's La Lena defies Plautus and Terence f o r t h e i r characterizations of wily servants when he says Deh, se ben i o non son Davo ne Sosia, Se ben non nacqui f r a i Geti ne i n S i r i a , Non ho i n questa t e s t a c c i a anch'io malizia? • • • Ma che faro, che con un vecchio credulo Non ho a f a r , qual a suo modo Terenzio 0 Plauto suol Cremete o Simon fingere? Ma quanto e g l i e p i u cauto, maggior g l o r i a Non e l a mia, s'io l o p i g l i o a l i a trappola?, M a s c a r i l l e , Scapin, and T r u f f a l d i n o could i n turn challenge Corbolo. They must be even more ingenious than him for they have twice as many masters to outwit. Scapin serves two masters when he agrees to help Octave, Leandre's best f r i e n d , and a l s o Leandre marry who they wish, and he thus has two blocking fathers to deal with. M a s c a r i l l e , i n helping L e l i e win C e l i e , not only has to t r i c k L e l i e ' s father but also Leandre, L e l i e ' s r i v a l , and T r u f a l d i n , the slave master who owns Celie;' i n f a c t , at two d i f f e r e n t points i n the comedy, M a s c a r i l l e a c t u a l l y pretends to serve, f i r s t Leandre, and l a t e r T r u f a l d i n . He also promises to help Hippolyte marry Leandre - 70 -though he does nothing i n the comedy to d i r e c t l y aid her which i s not a consequence of h i s helping L e l i e . M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, unlike T r u f f a l d i n o , are the servants of two masters i n another sense. M a s c a r i l l e as well as Scapin i s employed by the father to be the personal servant of h i s son with the understanding that he i s to help the young man i n any way he can and at the same time to keep him out of trouble. Impossible feat! Rarely i s the servant i n such a p o s i t i o n going to be able to s a t i s f y both young and old master at the same time. Thus, i n helping the young man to marry contrary to parental wishes, the servant i s i n a sense s t i l l serving the older master even when he i s not. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, i n helping t h e i r young master, must i n e v i t a b l y t r i c k the father. From the perspective of the young man, they are i d e a l servants, l o y a l and o b l i g i n g beyond the c a l l of duty; from that of the father's, they represent the most atrocious example of servants who w i l l l i e and s t e a l to a t t a i n t h e i r ends. By the end of the second scene of L'Etourdi, the eirons and alazons are aligned. The eiron figures i d e n t i f y themselves as L e l i e begs Ma s c a r i l l e to help him win C e l i e , "cherche dans ta t§te/Les moyens l e s plus prompts d'en f a i r e ma conquSte;/Trouve ruses, detours, fourbes, inventions,/Pour f r u s t r e r un r i v a l de ses pretentions" (w. 71-4), and af t e r a few ent r e a t i e s , M a s c a r i l l e accepts. We learn who the alazons are when L e l i e and M a s c a r i l l e l e t us know that they must contend n o t only with Lelie' 1's father who i s miserly as well as hot-tempered but also with an adroit r i v a l and a suspicious slave owner. Although Leandre i s young and i n love, he i s l i s t e d with the alazons because he represents a resistence to L e l i e ' s happiness. Leandre i s not, however, a serious - 71 -threat to the happy denouement of the play because before the end of the f i r s t act, we also learn of Hippolyte's love for Leandre. Because we are i n the world of comedy, she i s bound to win him; and i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that Leandre w i l l change h i s mind l a t e r on i n the play and agree to marry her. In terms of the eiron-alazon alignment, i t i s a very s i m i l a r s i t u a t i o n i n Les Fourberies de Scapin. In the f i r s t two scenes, we f i n d out from Octave that he loves Hyacinte and that Leandre loves Zerbinette, and that Octave i s i n p a r t i c u l a r trouble f or he has married Hyacinthe during h i s father's absence, knowing that h i s father had already arranged another marriage for him. In I, 2, Octave implores Scapin, Leandre's v a l e t for hi s a i d , "Ah! Scapin, s i tu pouvais trouver quelque invention, forger quelque machine, pour me t i r e r de l a peine ou je s u i s , j e c r o i r a i s t'etre redevable de plus que de l a v i e " (p. 225), and although Scapin hesitates to accept u n t i l the next scene, we know that Scapin i s going to help Octave and, i f he too were to need i t , Leandre as w e l l . I f we are not already f a m i l i a r with t r a d i t i o n a l comic p l o t s , the t i t l e i t s e l f gives i t away. It i s obvious that Argante i s going to be an alazon fig u r e f o r Octave i s i n great fear of h i s father's anger. We understand h i s fear l a t e r i n Act I when we le a r n that Argante i s ready to d i s i n h e r i t h i s son i f he does not agree to have the marriage annulled. We also expect Geronte, Leeandre's father, to be a blocking character f or from the beginning, Geronte and Argante are associated together. It i s a f t e r a l l Geronte's daughter who i s to marry Octave. In I I , 2, Octave says, "Mon pere, a r r i v e avec l e seigneur Geronte, et i l s me veulent marier" jmy i t a l i c s j (p. 224); Geronte does not promise to be any more understanding than Argante. In f a c t , he w i l l l a t e r surpass Argante i n r i g i d i t y and - 72 -resistence. He blames Octave's secret marriage on Argante for not having been s t r i c t enough i n h i s son's education; he i s avaricious to the point of h e s i t a t i n g to give Scapin the necessary money to ransom h i s son from the Turks. There i s no question here that he suspects Scapin of t r i c k i n g him. And he reveals a streak of c r u e l t y when he suggests s a c r i f i c i n g Scapin to the Turks i n return for h i s son. Whether or not Geronte i s serious, i t i s a proposition which Scapin does not appreciate at a l l . By the end of the second scene, as i n L'Etourdi, the eiron-alazon contest i s i n place. Octave and Hyacinte, Leandre and Zerbinette, with the help of Scapin must r e s i s t Argante and Geronte. Although we do not meet Leandre u n t i l the next act, there are i n d i c a t i o n s i n the f i r s t two scenes of the play that he i s one of the eirons: he, too, i s i n love, and i f h i s father promises to be an alazon, i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that Leandre w i l l have to oppose him; t h i s fact alone i d e n t i f i e s him as an e i r o n . When, at the end of Act I, Sylvestre, Octave's v a l e t , throws i n h i s l o t to help the young people, the eiron-alazon p o l a r i z a t i o n i s complete. In these two comedies, those who are on the side of love and those who are against love represent the f l e x i b i l i t y - r i g i d i t y contest. I t i s s t i l l symbolized as a contest between the younger generation and the older one because, b i o l o g i c a l l y , the young are more f l e x i b l e i n mind and body than the aged. Although the v a l e t s are not n e c e s s a r i l y young—Mascarille might be for he, too, desires a g i r l at the end of the p l a y — t h e y are on the side of youth, of love, of the l i f e force. They believe i n the f r e e r and happier world which the young people seem to promise. M a s c a r i l l e assures L e l i e that he i s "d'avis, que ces penards chagrins/. . .viennent. . ./Oter aux jeunes gens le s p l a i s i r s de l a v i e " (w. 61-64). Scapin says to Octave, " j e suis - 73 -homme c o n s o l a t i f , homme a m'interesser aux a f f a i r e s des jeunes gens" (p. 225). Although M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin both h e s i t a t e at f i r s t to o f f e r t h e i r genius to the s e r v i c e of l o v e , they do so only "pour. . .sonder l ' e s p r i t " ( E t o u r d i , v. 54) of the l o v e r s . They are both compassionate men: M a s c a r i l l e says, " i l e st certain/Qu'on ne peut me taxer que d'etre trop humain" ( w . 57-8), and Scapin, " I I faut se l a i s s e r v a i n c r e , et av o i r de l'humanite" (p. 229). Compassion i s r e l a t e d to f l e x i b i l i t y f o r i n order to be compassionate, one must be capable of being moved, some-th i n g the b l o c k i n g c h a r a c t e r s , w i t h t h e i r u n y i e l d i n g and uncompromising ways, can never be. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are the a r c h i t e c t s of the comic a c t i o n f o r once they have agreed to a i d t h e i r young master, a d e c i s i o n which i s made, as we have seen, i n the f i r s t scenes of the p l a y , they set the comedy i n t o motion w i t h t h e i r machinations. The comedy develops as the ideas churning i n t h e i r f e r t i l e minds take form. The s t r u c t u r e of L'E t o u r d i i s a s e r i e s of small stratagems, nine i n a l l , and the f i r s t one takes shape w h i l e M a s c a r i l l e muses, "Laissez-moi quelque temps rever a ce t t e affaire./Que p o u r r a i s - j e i n v e n t e r pour ce coup n e c e s s a i r e ? " ( w . 76-6). But each time M a s c a r i l l e sets up a p l o y , i t must be abandoned and a new one invented due to L e l i e ' s bungling. Les Fourberies de Scapin i s organized around three stratagems, one i n favour of each of the two sets of l o v e r s and the t h i r d , to s a t i s f y S c a p i n 1 s d e s i r e f o r revenge. L i k e the M o l i e r e comedies, I I s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni i s concerned w i t h the love s t o r i e s of two couples. The play opens w i t h the happy event of S i l v i o ' s and Cla r i c e ' s engagement which i s soon d i s r u p t e d by the appearance of B e a t r i c e d i s g u i s e d as her b r o t h e r , Federigo, who u n t i l then, had been supposed dead. Beatrice's stratagem brings into being the t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest for Pantalone choses to honour the old marriage contract he had i n i t i a l l y arranged with Federigo rather than the new one with S i l v i o . Deaf to h i s daughter's pleas, he prefers Federigo to S i l v i o only because he i s the r i c h e r of the two. By the end of the t h i r d scene, the eirons and alazons are aligned: C l a r i c e refuses to marry the person who she thinks i s Federigo; S i l v i o vows revenge; Dottore Lombardi demands j u s t i c e . The eirons seem united against Pantalone and Beatrice disguised as Federigo. We thus have here more or l e s s the younger generation against the older one. However, the eiron-alazon p o l a r i z a t i o n i s not so c l e a r cut. As we f i n d out i n the next scene, Beatrice i s only pretending to be on Pantalone's side, for although the main alazon f i g u r e i n Beatrice's and Florindo's story has been removed p r i o r to the comedy with the death of Beatrice's brother, Pantalone would be a major blocking character to Beatrice's plans i f he were to f i n d out that she was Federigo's s i s t e r . She explains t h i s i n I, 5 to B r i g h e l l a who recognizes her, "Se mi scopro, non faccio n u l l a . Pantalone p r i n c i p i e r a a volermi f a r da tutore; e t u t t i mi seccheranno, che non i s t a bene, che non conviene, e che so io? Voglio l a mia liberta."*''" Dottore Lombardi, although he i s t r y i n g to help S i l v i o and C l a r i c e , and says to Pantalone that " l e ragazze non bisogna s a c r i f i c a r l e " (p. 40) does not i n the end approve Beatrice's escapade: "Troppe s p i r i t o , padrona mia," " B e l l a riputazione" (p. 85), he admonishes her. Also, S i l v i o comes near to being an alazon f i g u r e himself when blinded by h i s jealous passion, he refuses to t r u s t C l a r i c e and drives her almost to despair. - 75 -In II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, as i n the two Moliere comedies, the predicaments of the two couples are i n the same plane; they generate deceptions which work together l i k e two gears that mesh where the motion of one causes the other to move. From the beginning of the comedy, Beatrice's deception puts her story into play with that of C l a r i c e and S i l v i o , and the r e s o l u t i o n of the one becomes dependent on the other. When C l a r i c e , sworn to secrecy, i s t o l d of Beatrice's ploy, she r e a l i z e s that she cannot advance her cause without aiding Beatrice's. Likewise i n :  L'Etourdi. In helping L e l i e win C e l i e , M a s c a r i l l e cannot but help Hippolyte win Leandre. Scapin, i n t r i c k i n g Argante and Geronte, plays one story against the other. He calms down Argante, angered at the news of h i s son's marriage, by h i n t i n g that Geronte's son has done something much worse; l a t e r , he t e l l s Geronte that the 'brother' of the g i r l Octave married, the same 'brother' who wanted to beat up Argante f o r not approving h i s s i s t e r ' s marriage, now wants to beat up Geronte for support-ing the annullment of t h i s marriage. II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, however, has a more complicated structure than L'Etourdi or Les Fourberies de Scapin for i t contains another stratagem which operates at another l e v e l and which, i s set into motion by T r u f f a l d i n o . We thus have a deception within a deception and each deception brings a d i f f e r e n t type of eiron-alazon contest into being. T r u f f a l d i n o ' s story, which i s i n a sense also a love story, occurs i n a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t plane from the other two love s t o r i e s . Like two separate gears that never mesh with each other, each story i s a l i t t l e comedy i n i t s e l f . Goldoni, i n h i s preface to the play, says, "se escludere vogliamo l a supposta vicendevole morte de' due amanti, c r e d u t i per opera - 76 -12 d i questo Servo, l a Commedia s i potrebbe fare senza d i l u i . " In t h i s sense, T r u f f a l d i n o r e c a l l s M a s c a r i l l e f o r , j u s t as i n the end L e l i e gets the g i r l i n s p i t e of Ma s c a r i l l e ' s p l o t t i n g or L e l i e ' s bungling, Florindo and Beatrice, S i l v i o and C l a r i c e get together without T r u f f a l d i n o ' s help. Goldoni was i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d thinking of L'Etourdi i n p a r t i c u l a r when he defends II se r v i t o r e di due padroni by saying that there were " i n f i n i t i 13 esempi" of comedies which preceded h i s and which, he explains, " i o non adduco per non empire soverchiamente i f o g l i . . .per a l t r o i l celebre Moliere i s t e s s o mi servirebbe d i scorta a g i u s t i f icarmi.''^ Scapin, on the other hand, s u c c e s s f u l l y c a r r i e s h i s stratagems to completion and i t i s because of h i s e f f o r t s that the young people are united at the end. Although the f i n a l recognition scene i s purely conventional, i t would not have been a happy one i f Leandre had not bought Z e r b i n e t t e — w i t h the money Scapin cozened out of G e r o n t e — i n time from the Egyptians. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, i n serving t h e i r young masters, serve the cause of love. T r u f f a l d i n o , however, i s i n a d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n . He aspires to serve two masters without e i t h e r knowing about the other, but while he i s serving the one master, he i s not only deceiving the other, he i s also f r u s t r a t i n g the cause of love. Unknown to T r u f f a l d i n o , besides the f a c t that one of h i s masters i s a woman, i s that they are lovers and desperately looking f o r each other. T r u f f a l d i n o ' s deceptions do nothing to bring them together; he a c t u a l l y drives them to the brink of di s a s t e r by leading each of them to believe that the other i s dead. Despairing, they both t r y to commit suicide and are saved only by the fac t that they c o i n c i d e n t a l l y bump into each other. But Tru f f a l d i n o i s not a blocking character; he i s antagonistic to the cause of Beatrice's and Florindo's - 77 -love only through Ignorance. A case can be made, perhaps, that the e f f e c t of T r u f f a l d i n o t r y i n g to serve Beatrice and Florindo simultaneously i s to keep them together for he can s u c c e s s f u l l y serve both of them only i f they are i n close proximity of each other. Thus, as long as T r u f f a l d i n o aspires to serve both of them, t h e i r reunion i s i n e v i t a b l e . If T r u f f a l d i n o i s superfluous to the play, as Goldoni says, he i s so only to the 'comedy' of the four well-born lovers and only i n that he does nothing p o s i t i v e to bring them together. He i s , however, operative i n keeping Florindo and Beatrice apart, and i t i s by t r y i n g to keep them separate that he weaves hi s deceptions and thus makes h i s own 'comedy'. U n t i l the end of the play, T r u f f a l d i n o i s o b l i v i o u s to Florindo's and Beatrice's love problems. There are several instances i n the comedy, for example, the mixing of the l e t t e r s and of Beatrice's p o r t r a i t with Florindo's book, when Tr u f f a l d i n o should have r e a l i z e d immediately that h i s two masters were very much interested i n seeing each other. But T r u f f a l d i n o has other concerns to preoccupy him, mainly looking a f t e r himself. He i s c a r r i e d away by t h i s novel idea of h i s to serve two masters at the same time and once h i s deception i s set into motion, he i s predisposed to think only i n terms of keeping the two masters ignorant of each other; h i s mind shuts out a l l thoughts of seeing them together. Without knowing i t , T r u f f a l d i n o holds the key to a quick r e s o l u t i o n of Beatrice's and Florindo's problems and consequently of C l a r i c e ' s and S i l v i o ' s , and indeed, of the play. T r u f f a l d i n o i s thus the a r c h i t e c t of the comic action; he i s the main t r i c k s t e r f i g u r e of the play for Beatrice's stratagem i s dependent on h i s . She cannot reveal h e r s e l f u n t i l she finds Florindo and i t i s T r u f f a l d i n o 1 s ploys to keep the one master unaware of the other that keeps them separate. Moreover, Beatrice's stratagem consists e s s e n t i a l l y of maintain-ing her disguise whereas T r u f f a l d i n o must come up with several ploys to keep either master deceived. T r u f f a l d i n o i s l i k e Scapin i n that he bounces one deception o f f another; the f i c t i t i o u s Pasquale who T r u f f a l d i n o invents i n order to get him out of one t i g h t s i t u a t i o n comes i n handy i n a l a t e r d i f f i c u l t moment. He i s , however, more l i k e a blending of M a s c a r i l l e and L e l i e for i n the same way that L e l i e f o i l s each of M a s c a r i l l e ' s stratagems, T r u f f a l d i n o i s often the snag i n h i s own. A l l of the ploys which T r u f f a l d i n o devises r e s u l t from the implantation of h i s o r i g i n a l deception of serving two masters at the same time and many of these ploys are necessary because he forgets about h i s o r i g i n a l deception. T r u f f a l d i n o goes to the post o f f i c e t h r i l l e d to be going once for both masters but he t r i p s himself up. Not knowing how to read, he s t u p i d l y confuses which l e t t e r belongs to which master and gives Florindo Beatrice's l e t t e r . In another moment of inadvertence, when Pantalone comes to him with Beatrice's money, he neglects to f i n d out for which master i t i s intended. In unpacking Beatrice's and Florindo's trunks simultaneously, he f o o l i s h l y mixes up some of t h e i r a r t i c l e s . But a l l of h i s deceptions function i n the same way: T r u f f a l d i n o finds himself backed into a corner where he must eit h e r divulge that he has two masters or invent a story i n order not to give away the f a c t that he i s serving another. T r u f f a l d i n o , of course, choses the l a t t e r . I t i s obvious that i f e i t h e r Florindo or Beatrice were to f i n d out that T r u f f a l d i n o i s serving someone e l s e , they would seek the other master out and consequently discover each other. - 79 -Like M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, T r u f f a l d i n o can be said to be on the side of love, but he i s looking a f t e r h i s own need for love j u s t as he i s looking a f t e r a l l his basic needs. Through h i s deceptions, T r u f f a l d i n o advances h i s own cause while undermining h i s masters'; i n order to better h i s condition, he must necessa r i l y f r u s t r a t e h i s masters' needs. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are d i f f e r e n t i n that they serve the cause of love by serving t h e i r young masters. At the l e v e l of T r u f f a l d i n o f s deceptions, he i s a lone eiron fi g u r e who perceives a l l the other characters, with the exception of Smeraldina, as alazons, blocking h i s way to a better l i f e . Beatrice acts with r i g i d i t y when she i s slow i n paying T r u f f a l d i n o , e s p e c i a l l y since she i s pleased with h i s work. Truf f a l d i n o would never have agreed to serve Florindo i f she had been s e n s i t i v e to h i s needs. I f T r u f f a l d i n o decides to serve two masters, i t i s because he i s w e l l aware that a servant's p o s i t i o n i s never secure nor are h i s wages guaranteed. Thus, the eiron-alazon contest that T r u f f a l d i n o ' s deception brings into being i s no longer the clash between generations but between cla s s e s . The eiron-alazon contest which we f i n d i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy i s i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni s p l i t into two separate e i r o n -alazon contests: the young versus the old and servants versus masters. Smeraldina i s the l i n k between the two deceptions, the two contests, for she i s w i l l i n g to help her mistress i n the pursuit of love but she i s also ready to enter into a l l i a n c e with T r u f f a l d i n o . Common to a l l the eiron figures at the l e v e l of e i t h e r deception, however, i s that i n one way or another, they are a l l on the side of love. M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are also d i f f e r e n t from Truffaldino. i n that they are from the beginning conscious of themselves as t r i c k s t e r s . - 80 -II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni i s , on the other hand, about the awakening consciousness of Tr u f f a l d i n o as t r i c k s t e r . In t h e i r respective comedies, the past escapades of M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are common knowledge and a matter of admiration for t h e i r young masters; i t i s they who approach t h e i r v a l e t s f or help. L e l i e praises M a s c a r i l l e , "Puisque j ' a i ton secours, j e puis me rassurer:/Je sais que ton e s p r i t , en in t r i g u e s f e r t i l e , / N ' a jamais r i e n trouve qui l u i fGt d i f f i c i l e , / Q u ' o n te peut appeler l e r o i des se r v i t e u r s " (w. 14-7). Leandre begs Scapin, " j e te p r i e de v o u l o i r employer pour moi ce genie admirable, qui vient a bout de toute chose" (p. 241). And Octave speaks of " [le] secours merveilleux" (p. 229) which Scapin can give him. Both M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are proud of t h e i r a r t : Scapin boasts of having "un genie assez beau pour toutes l e s fabriques de ces g e n t i l l e s s e s d 1 e s p r i t , de ces galanteries ingenieuses a qui l e vulg a i r e ignorant donne l e nom de fourberies" (p. 225); M a s c a r i l l e , i n one of h i s many moments of exasperation, worries about h i s public image, thereby revealing h i s opinion of himself, "Et que deviendra l o r s cette publique estime/Qui te vante partout pour un fourbe sublime,/Et que tu t'es acquise en tant d'occasions,/A ne t'etre jamais vu court d'inventions?" (w. 911-4). Both speak of the n o b i l i t y of t h e i r enterprises; they are not common t r i c k s t e r s but creators of " g e n t i l l e s s e s d ' e s p r i t , " "galanteries ingeniueses" (Fourberies, p. 225), "i n t r i g u e s fertile£s]" (Etourdi, v. 15); th e i r s i s "un noble metier" (Fourberies, p. 225), "un noble t r a v a i l " Etourdi, v. 916). Neither M a s c a r i l l e nor Scapin i s involved i n h i s young master's problems for p r o f i t or reward; they o f f e r t h e i r services f r e e l y , for honour and glory only. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that both M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are deeply offended when t h e i r p l o t t i n g i s rendered suspect by - 81 -one of the young people. When Hippolyte c a l l s M a s c a r i l l e a t r a i t o r because she has misinterpreted what she has overheard, M a s c a r i l l e r e t o r t s , "Me t r a i t e r de faquin, de lache, d'imposteur" (v. 398) and when Leandre accuses Scapin of betraying him to h i s father, Scapin responds almost word for word l i k e M a s c a r i l l e , "Me t r a i t e r de coquin, de f r i p o n , de pendard, d'infame!" (p. 241).. It i s t h e i r honour that has been hurt; i t i s as i f they have suffered a personal i n s u l t . When the d i s b e l i e v e r s t r y to apologize, M a s c a r i l l e says, "Apprenez q u ' i l n'est r i e n qui blesse un noble coeur/Comme quand i l peut v o i r qu'on touche en l'honneur" (w. 413-4) and Scapin l e t s them know, " j ' a i cette i n s u l t e - l a sur l e coeur" (p. 241). In boasting that they fear no challenge, they parody t r a g i c heroes. According to M a s c a r i l l e ' s C o r n e i l l e - l i k e maxim, "Plus l'obstacle est puissant, plus on r e c o i t de g l o i r e " (v. 1864) and for Scapin, " l e s d i f f i c u l t e s qui se melent aux choses r e v e i l l e n t l e s ardeurs, augmentent l e s p l a i s i r " (p. 254). We are amused by the discrepancy between t h e i r words and t h e i r f e a t s : these v a l e t s are using the language of tragedy to describe t h e i r s k i l l i n t r i c k e r y . On t h i s subject, Knutson says that there i s a contradictory a t t i t u d e i n Scapin "whose goal i s a r i s t o c r a t i c s e l f -surpassing, but whose means are the base ones of h i s c l a s s , deceit and trickery,"'''"' and Hubert, that malignant fate becomes i n L'Etourdi "a p e r s i s t e n t mockery 16 of tragedy i t s e l f as well as a consistent devaluation of the h e r o i c . " Unlike M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin who have been with t h e i r respective masters for a long time and are almost considered family members, Tr u f f a l d i n o has only s h o r t l y been hired by Beatrice when the play opens. Tr u f f a l d i n o ' s l o y a l t y to h i s master depends on how w e l l he i s treated. In I, 6, while waiting for Beatrice, a hungry T r u f f a l d i n o complains about - 82 -being i n her service:! "Mezzozorno d e l l a c i t t a l ' e sona che e mezz'ora, e e l mezzozorno delle mie budelle l ' e sona che sara do ore. . .Quand c h ' i d i s , bisogna s e r v i r i padroni con amor! Bisogna d i r a i padroni, c h ' i abbia un poco de c a r i t a per l a s e r v i t u " (p. 19). He decides to serve Florindo sho r t l y afterwards only because he i s hungry and without a cent. But he accepts Florindo's employment thinking that he has seen the l a s t of Beatrice. When he l a t e r chances upon her and she, n a t u r a l l y , sends him on an errand, he i s t o t a l l y bewildered, "Mi no so quala f a r . Son l'omo piu imbroia de sto mondo" (p. 23). Thus, he o r i g i n a l l y serves two masters u n i n t e n t i o n a l l y , and he i s at f i r s t very confused about how to get out of h i s predicament. Most l i k e l y , he i s worried about possible beatings from e i t h e r or both masters. L e f t alone, he considers h i s s i t u a t i o n : "Come d i a v o l o i a da far? T u t t i do no l i posso s e r v i r " (p. 23). R e a l i z i n g however that chance has favoured him by having both masters lodge i n the same inn, he thinks i t over and comes to the conclusion that he has more to gain than to lose and decides to go along with the deception which he unconsciously set into motion.: No? E perche no? No l a s a r i a una b e l l a cossa s e r v i r l i t u t t i do, e guadagnar do s a l a r i , e magnar e l doppio? La s a r i a b e l l a , se no i se ne accorzesse. E se i se ne accorze, cossa perdio? Gnente. Se uno me manda v i a , resto con q u e l l ' a l t r o . Da galantomo, che me v o i provar. Se l a durasse anca un dx solo, me v o i provar. A l i a f i n avero sempre fat t o una b e l l a cossa. (p. 23) In t h i s monologue, T r u f f a l d i n o already resembles h i s French predecessors i n that he considers h i s project "una b e l l a cossa" and he thinks of h i s t r i c k e r y as something to be proud of, an honourable and noble enterprise, for "da galantomo" he wants to t r y . T r u f f a l d i n o ends h i s monologue by saying, "Animo; andemo a l i a Posta per t u t t i do" (p. 24), and t h i s l i n e - 83 -humourously shows T r u f f a l d i n o 1 s r e s o l u t i o n to succeed i n h i s deception as he speaks of himself i n the p l u r a l , as i f he r e a l l y were two servants. Once the o r i g i n a l deception of serving two masters i s set into motion, T r u f f a l d i n o encounters unexpected s i t u a t i o n s where he finds himself having to think up s t o r i e s at a moment's notice i n order not to give himself away. Tr u f f a l d i n o learns the art of fourberie through t r i a l and error. He i s never sure that h i s strategies w i l l succeed u n t i l a f t e r he has t r i e d them out. T r u f f a l d i n o r e c a l l s Sganarelle i n Le Medecin malgre l u i whose "rudimentary common sense, more s e l f - p r o t e c t i o n than anything e l s e , turns into a kind of basic shrewdness and awareness"^ during the course of the play; l i k e Le Medecin malgre l u i , II se r v i t o r e d i due padroni i s e s s e n t i a l l y about the apprenticeship of a t r i c k s t e r . Before Tr u f f a l d i n o f a b r i c a t e s one of his s t o r i e s , he wonders i f i t w i l l work. When he encounters h i s f i r s t d i f f i c u l t y and must explain to Florindo how he got Beatrice's l e t t e r , he says i n an aside, "Me vado inzegnando a l i a meio" (p. 28). Regarding h i s explanation about the l e t t e r mix-up, he i s a b i t apprehensive, "Se l a porto fora netta, l ' e un miracolo" (p. 28). While he i s serving both masters at table simultaneously, he hopes, "Oh se me r i u s c i s s e . . .mo l a s a r i a l a gran b e l l a cossa" (p. 55). When he has to explain to Florindo how Beatrice's p o r t r a i t got into h i s trunk, he worries, "Adesso mo no so come c o v r i r l a . Me inzegnero" (p. 67). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to trace T r u f f a l d i n o ' s d i f f e r e n t states of mind and h i s development as a t r i c k s t e r as he t e l l s Florindo how t h i s p o r t r a i t got into h i s trunk. T r u f f a l d i n o invents the story of an alleged former master, but at f i r s t he has no co n t r o l ; leaving i t up to chance, he says, "Digo quel che me vien a l i a bocca" (p. 68). He gains i n confidence as Florindo accepts h i s story and decides to be more cr e a t i v e , "Col crede t u t t o , ghe ne raccontero - 84 -d e l l e b e l l e " (p. 68). But Florindo's nagging questions soon become a nuisance and i n order to put an end to the story, T r u f f a l d i n o k i l l s o f f t h i s former master. He i s , of course, expecting that t h i s b i t of news w i l l k i l l o f f Florindo's i n t e r e s t as w e l l , but to Tr u f f a l d i n o ' s discom-f i t u r e , i t has the opposite e f f e c t . T r u f f a l d i n o i s compelled to continue hi s n a rration. He i s temporarily b a f f l e d ; "Un a l t r o imbroio" (p. 69), he says, but he has the s i t u a t i o n well under con t r o l now and brings h i s story to i t s close with the return of h i s former master's body to Torino. By having him buried elsewhere, T r u f f a l d i n o has astutely foreseen that Florindo might want to v i s i t the b u r i a l place and thus eliminates t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y . As the play progresses, T r u f f a l d i n o gains i n confidence and s k i l l . He i s delighted each time that he gets out of a t i g h t s i t u a t i o n and becomes more and more proud of h i s e f f o r t s , and l i k e M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, he begins to boast of h i s genius. After he ex t r i c a t e s himself from the l e t t e r mix-up, he says, very proudly, "Mo l ' e andada ben, che no l a podeva andar meio. Son un omo de garbo; me stimo cento scudi de piu de quel che no me stimava" (p. 32). And when he i s successful at serving both masters at table, he cheers himself, "ewiva, l'ho superada, t u t t i i e contenti, no i v o l a l t e r , i e s t a d i s e r v i d i . Ho servido a tavola do padroni, e un non ha savudo d e l l l a l t r o " (pp. 57-8). After h i s tour de force, when he has h i s masters b e l i e v i n g that Pasquale i s the r a s c a l l y servant of the other, he challenges " e l primo s o l l i c i t a d o r de Palazzo" "a invenzion, a prontezza, a cabale" (p. 80). Tru f f a l d i n o alternates between astuteness and s t u p i d i t y because he i s s t i l l only a t r i c k s t e r i n t r a i n i n g . But when Tr u f f a l d i n o i s astute, - 85 -he i s even more resourceful than M a s c a r i l l e or Scapin for whereas they know th e i r masters and t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r quirks and v i c e s , T r u f f a l d i n o has only just met h i s superiors. Moreover, Tr u f f a l d i n o never has time to plan any of h i s ploys; he has to make up s t o r i e s on the spot, never sure of t h e i r success u n t i l a f t e r he has t o l d them. In t h i s , he i s again l i k e Sganarelle i n Le Medecin malgre l u i . M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, on the contrary, are already accomplished a r t i s t s ; they conceive of everything i n t h e i r minds before they put i t into p r a c t i c e . Before each stratagem, M a s c a r i l l e l e t s us know that he has something up h i s sleeve by saying such things as: "Que pourrais-je inventer pour ce coup necessaire?" (v. 76), "Menons bien ce p r o j e t ; l a fourbe sera f i n e , / S ' i l faut qu'elle succede a i n s i que j'imagine" (w. 291-2), " j e roule en ma tete un t r a i t ingenieux/Dont j e promettrais bien un succes glorieux" (w. 933-4). Scapin assures S i l v e s t r e that " l a machine est trouvee"; (p. 235), and when a f t e r having j u s t t r i c k e d Argante, Scapin perceives Geronte, he says to himself,,. "II'semble que l e C i e l , l'un apres l ' a u t r e , l e s amene dans mes f i l e t s " (p. 248). They have everything under control and are c e r t a i n of success. M a s c a r i l l e has a l l sorts of blocking characters who tr u s t him when he i s i n r e a l i t y t r i c k i n g them and who are even ready to pay him for f a l s e services. Scapin has Argante and Geronte a c t u a l l y begging him to do what he has t r i c k e d them into b e l i e v i n g they need done: Argante must i n s i s t that Scapin take h i s money; Geronte pleads with Scapin to save him from Hyacinte's 'brother'. "Parbleu, Monsieur, j e suis un fourbe, ou je suis honnete homme" (p. 248), Scapin has the wonderful audacity to say to Argante when he hesitates at f i r s t to give Scapin the money. - 86 -M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin a l s o apprentice others i n the school of f o u r b e r i e , though not always w i t h s u c c e s s f u l r e s u l t s . M a s c a r i l l e says to L e l i e , "Jouez b i e n v o t r e r o l e " (v. 486); "Votre r o l e en ce j e u par coeur d o i t e t r e su" (v. 1265). Scapin coaches Octave, "ca, essayons un peu, pour vous accoutumer. Repetons un peu v o t r e r o l e et voyons s i vous fere z b i e n . A l l o n s . La mine r e s o l u e , l a t e t e haute, l e s regards assures!,1 (p. 229), and he gives d i r e c t i o n s to S i l v e s t r e , "Enfonce ton bonnet en mechant garcon. Campe-toi sur un p i e d . Mets l a main au cote. F a i s l e s yeux furibonds. Marche un peu en r o i de t h e a t r e . V o i l a q u i est b i e n . Suis-moi. J ' a i des s e c r e t s pou deguiser ton visage et t a v o i x " (p. 235). In i n s t r u c t i n g the others on how to deceive, M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin use words from the t h e a t r e and sound l i k e they are d i r e c t i n g a comedy r a t h e r than attempting a deception. We are reminded of L i g u r i o , the t r i c k s t e r i n M a c h i a v e l l i ' s La mandragola, another famous "personaggio-regista" who holds " l e r e d i n i d e l l a s i t u a z i o n e e r i e s c e sempre a f a r muovere e f a r 18 p a r l a r e i v a r i personaggi a suo piacimento." Here again we see the connection between the deception and the p l a y : a c t i n g i s i n a very r e a l sense, pretending, d i s s i m u l a t i n g ; theatre i s an i l l u s i o n , and comedy, to quote C o r n e i l l e ' s t i t l e , i s " l 1 i l l u s i o n comique." L i k e M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, T r u f f a l d i n o i s s u c c e s s f u l i n h i s p r o j e c t — w e r e i t not f o r L e l i e ' s untimely i n t e r f e r e n c e s , each of M a s c a r i l l e ' s stratagems would have accomplished what he intended i t t o . T r u f f a l d i n o keeps h i s masters i n the dark and gets a wonderful meal i n the process, although he does pay f o r i t w i t h a few beatings. But T r u f f a l d i n o i s the only one of the three v a l e t s who i s not discovered i n h i s deceptions. I t i s , moreover, i n e v i t a b l e , that the deceptions of M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin - 87 -would be discovered for the father figures would sooner or l a t e r have to learn that t h e i r sons have married against t h e i r wishes with the aid of t h e i r v a l e t s . In the end T r u f f a l d i n o weaves h i s most elaborate deception with the story of Pasquale, t e l l i n g each master the story separately so each master believes Pasquale to be the servant of the other. Truffaldino has the r i g h t to f e e l proud of t h i s f i n a l deception. It t r u l y represents the culmination of h i s apprenticeship as t r i c k s t e r . It i s worth noting that t h i s i s the one stratagem where he has had some time to prepare for i t , and consequently, he does not preface i t with worries about whether or not i t w i l l work. Once Beatrice and Florindo have discovered each other and are to be married, T r u f f a l d i n o , at least for the near future, i s safe; indeed, h i s masters do not f i n d out that he was serving the other u n t i l he decides to confess i t because he wants to marry Smeraldina. Contrary to the usual p r a c t i c e of eirons, T r u f f a l d i n o must at t h i s point, undeceive i n order to win h i s love. Not only are M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin helping the young people beyond the c a l l of duty but they are also putting themselves i n a precarious p o s i t i o n f or they w i l l u l t i m a t e l y be held responsible to t h e i r employer for t h e i r escapades. When Ma s c a r i l l e t e l l s L e l i e that he must calm h i s father who i s enraged by M a s c a r i l l e ' s l a t e s t deception at h i s expense, L e l i e answers, "Nous avons f a i t l a paix" (p. 102). But not with me, M a s c a r i l l e informs him, and he has L e l i e promise that he w i l l support him against h i s father's wrath for M a s c a r i l l e fears nothing le s s than imprison-ment. Scapin, not content to have su c c e s s f u l l y united the young lovers i n s i s t s on carrying out a l i t t l e vengeance on Geronte, but even though he has f i r s t asked Leandre's permission, he cannot count on h i s protection. - 88 -S i l v e s t r e warns Scapin, "Prends garde a t o i ; l e s f i l s se pourraient bien raccommoder l e s peres, et t o i demeurer dans l a nasse" (p. 264). Although M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin are unconditionally on the side of the love and the young people, there i s no guarantee that t h e i r young masters w i l l be able or w i l l i n g to stand up for them and save them from a beating or a worse punishment. This element of danger i n Ma s c a r i l l e ' s and Scapin's t r i c k i n g of t h e i r masters reveals the unsecure world of servants at the time of Moliere. Regarding the status of servants i n seventeenth century France, Gaines notes that "low-ranking servants were completely at the mercy of t h e i r masters and mistresses. An i n f r a c t i o n or misbehavior could r e s u l t i n a beating with f i s t s or s t i c k s , although, fortunately, i t was considered ignoble to draw swords against a mere servant. While there are examples of upstart servants going unpunished, there are also incidents of servants 19 being c r i p p l e d , or even k i l l e d . " It i s very obvious i n II se r v i t o r e d i  due padroni that a servant's l o t was not a very pleasant one. Tru f f a l d i n o often mentions that he i s hungry. P a r t i c u l a r l y funny as well as poignant i s the scene where Tru f f a l d i n o must s a c r i f i c e h i s l a s t b i t of bread i n order to seal the l e t t e r addressed to Beatrice that Florindo opened, but he keeps swallowing out of hunger the small pieces of bread which he must chew i n order to make s t i c k y . We know that he accepts employment from Florindo because he i s famished and that he decides to serve two masters because he hopes to get twice as much money and twice as much food. We also witness with T r u f f a l d i n o the mistreatment of the porters by both Florindo and Beatrice. T r u f f a l d i n o himself fears beatings and he i s twice beaten on the stage, once by each master. The acting out of beatings were de rigueur i n commedia d e l l ' a r t e performances but they were always - 89 -f a r c i c a l ; we see t h e i r continuation i n s l a p s t i c k . But i n II s e r v i t o r e d i  due padroni, the beatings that T r u f f a l d i n o suffers seem to hurt. Before he i s beaten, the play d i r e c t i o n s indicate that T r u f f a l d i n o shows fear and trembles; afterwards, he complains "Cussi se t r a t t a c o i omeni d e l l a me sorte? Bastonar un par mio? I s e r v i t o r i , co no i serve, i se manda v i a , no i se bastona" (p. 64). In the Moliere plays, however, i t i s the servants who give t h e i r masters a beating, and we have another example of the comic re v e r s a l wherein the servants demonstrate t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y through t r i c k e r y . M a s c a r i l l e s t r i k e s L e l i e supposedly to keep T r u f f a l d i n deceived about M a s c a r i l l e ' s l o y a l t y but M a s c a r i l l e i s not merely pretending to beat L e l i e f o r L e l i e says, "Tu devais done, pour t o i , frapper plus doucement" (v. 1617). M a s c a r i l l e seems to be enjoying himself a l i t t l e too much; he i s evidently r e l e a s i n g some of h i s f r u s t r a t i o n s against L e l i e ' s constant bungling. Scapin gives Geronte a sound beating i n order to revenge the enormous i n d i g n i t y be suffered when Geronte was prepared, rather than pay the ransom money, to exchange Scapin's freedom for h i s son's. Although i t i s not as evident as i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, there are i n d i c a t i o n s i n the Moliere plays that a servant was often mistreated and that h i s l i f e could be harsh. M a s c a r i l l e at the beginning of the comedy, comments on how f i c k l e h i s young master i s , "He! tr§ve de douceurs./Quand nous faisons besoins, nous autres miserables,/nous sommes les cheris et l e s incomparables;/Et dans un autre temps, des l e moindre courrous,/Nous sommes les coquins, q u ' i l faut rouer de coups" (w. 18-22). Although L e l i e denies t h i s , we see i n Les Foufberies de Scapin that t h i s i s the very way that Leandre acts. One moment he i s ready to beat Scapin and the next, he i s entreating him for help. Scapin i s a f r a i d of being beaten by Leandre - 90 -and rather than endure h i s blows, confesses to past misdeeds. It i s therefore l i k e l y that i f a servant i s reknowned as " l e r o i des s e r v i t e u r s " (Etourdi, v. 17) or for "un genie admirable" (Fourberies, p. 241) with regard to t r i c k e r y , he w i l l use t h i s s k i l l against h i s masters for h i s own needs. It i s apparent that Scapin, at l e a s t , does t h i s a l l the time. He informs us at the beginning of the comedy of having become embroiled with " l a j u s t i c e " (p. 225) because of h i s fourberies. When Leandre accuses him of betraying him, Scapin l e t s out not only that he t r i c k e d Leandre out of some precious wine and a watch but that he has also given him a beating i n the dark. There i s imbedded i n the Moliere comedies the other eiron-alazon contest e x p l i c i t i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni where a l l the masters, young or o l d , are perceived as alazon f i g u r e s . In both the Moliere comedies as i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni there are i n d i c a t i o n s that a servant's t r i c k e r y was not neces s a r i l y r e s t r i c t e d to helping the cause of young love; thus, not only "older members of almost any society are apt 20 to f e e l " as Frye says, "that comedy has something subversive about i t " but any person i n a p o s i t i o n of s o c i a l prestige. In r e a l l i f e i t i s another matter, but i n comedy, t r i c k e r y i s i d e a l i z e d . As Beaumarchais explains i n h i s preface to Le Mariage de Figaro, "on. . .pardonne tout (a. Figaro] des qu'on s a i t q u ' i l ne ruse avec son seigneur que pour garantir 21 ce q u ' i l aime et sauver sa propriete." Trickery makes i t possible for young people to f u l f i l l t h e i r desires i n a world where others have the power to decide t h e i r happiness and for servants to survive i n a world where blows and hunger can occur at the whim of another. * ft * - 91 -The formulating and running of the machinations i n L'Etourdi and i n Les Fourberies de Scapin are t o t a l l y i n the hands of male tr i c k s t e r s ; ' i n II s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, however, not only do we have Beatrice, whose stratagem frames part of the play, but also Smeraldina, a female servant f i g u r e , who, although she i s not involved i n eit h e r Beatrice's or Truf f a l d i n o ' s deception, reveals h e r s e l f to be s l y and very w i l l i n g to help both her mistress and he r s e l f i n the pursuit of love. She l e t s us know from the very beginning of the p l a y — t h e s i x t h l i n e of the opening s c e n e — t h a t she i s eager to marry, a fact that she communicates to Tru f f a l d i n o when she f i r s t meets him and answers h i s question of "V. S. e l a sposa?" (p. 10) with a sigh. Smeraldina further informs us i n an aside that she l i k e s "quel morettino" (p. 13), and by the end of the second scene, when she says to h e r s e l f , "Voglio veder se mi r i e s c e . . ." (p. 13), we know that she i s hatching a plo t to win him as her husband. Later on i n the comedy, when Smeraldina i s sent by C l a r i c e to d e l i v e r a message to Beatrice who everyone, except C l a r i c e , s t i l l thinks i s Federigo, we get the d i s t i n c t impression that although Smeraldina complains about her mistress's i n d i s c r e t i o n , she i s happy to have been sent on t h i s errand for reasons of her own. As the waiter c o r r e c t l y perceives when Smeraldina prefers to receive T r u f f a l d i n o on the street rather than go into, the inn to meet h i s master, "Ho inteso. II moretto l e piace. S i vergogna a venir dentro. Non s i vergognera a f a r s i scorgere i n mezzo a l i a strada" (p. 54). But unknown to the waiter i s that Smeraldina has another reason for refusing to enter the inn. Beatrice i s with Pantalone, C l a r i c e ' s father, and Smeraldina cannot give Beatrice C l a r i c e ' s l e t t e r i n front of Pantalone without revealing C l a r i c e ' s complicity and further endangering C l a r i c e ' s - 92 -happiness. Thus, unlike T r u f f a l d i n o , Smeraldina, i n thinking of h e r s e l f , i s also aiding her mistress. Like a l l servants, Smeraldina i s i n a precarious p o s i t i o n , susceptible to beatings and dism i s s a l , and dependent on her master for permission to marry. Like T r u f f a l d i n o and Moliere's servants, she shows that she i s adept at survi v i n g , at looking a f t e r h e r s e l f , r e s o r t i n g to t r i c k e r y i f necessary. Smeraldina may not have a big r o l e i n II se r v i t o r e de due padroni, and women t r i c k s t e r s may be non-existent i n eit h e r L'Etourdi or Les Fourberies de Scapin, but both Moliere and Goldoni have written comedies which feature servant g i r l s as t r i c k s t e r s who r i v a l M a s c a r i l l e , Scapin, and Tru f f a l d i n o i n the art of t r i c k e r y . Moliere's L'Amour medecin and Le Malade imaginaire and Goldoni's La castalda and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e are examples of comedies which have a t r i c k s t e r who i s both a woman and a servant. The servant g i r l as t r i c k s t e r i s an innovation for i n past comedies such a figure was usually portrayed as the go-between, a figure which we s t i l l encounter i n some of Moliere's comedies, i . e . L'Avare and Monsieur de Pourceaugnac. The r o l e of the go-between, however, was not without ambiguous and even negative connotations as, f o r example, Ariosto's La Lena demonstrates. L'Amour  medecin, written i n 1665 and Le Malade imaginaire, Moliere's l a s t comedy, written i n 1672, shor t l y before h i s death, are works of a mature Moliere whereas Goldoni's La castalda and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , written two years apart, i n 1751 and i n 1753, r e s p e c t i v e l y , are s t i l l representative of Goldoni's early career; both playwrights, however, were i n t h e i r f o r t i e s at the wr i t i n g of these comedies. As i n the comedies featuring a male servant t r i c k s t e r , the t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest i s set up i n the opening scenes of each play. As before, the blocking fi g u r e i s a father - 93 -and a widower; except for the woman servants and whatever maternal q u a l i t i e s can be attributed to them, there are no mother f i g u r e s . Only i n Le Malade imaginaire do we f i n d a mother figure who i s also an alazon, but Beline i s only a stepmother. The woman servants deceive i n order to help the young lovers, but i n Moliere's Le Malade imaginaire and i n the Goldoni plays, the servant has personal reasons for aiding the young people; she i s , however, l i k e Smeraldina rather than l i k e T r u f f a l d i n o i n that she helps h e r s e l f i n helping her young mistress to marry. For none of these comedies i s the t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest i t s sole raison d'etre. Always within the framework of t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, Moliere s a t i r i z e s the medical profession as well and Goldoni also portrays the personal contest of woman servants i n a society i n d i f f e r e n t to the condition of servants. In each case, the servant i s again the a r c h i t e c t of the comic actio n , constructing deceptions which frame the comedy. In the Moliere comedies, the blocking father figures depend on 22 doctors to solve t h e i r family problems. Sganarelle refuses to acknowledge h i s daughter's melancholy as love 'sickness' and c a l l s on a number of doctors to cure her condition. Argan has convinced himself that he i s very s i c k i n order to hide h i s inadequacies, but we have Toinette's as well as Beralde's assurances that he i s a healthy man. Not content to make the whole household s u f f e r h i s every ache and pain and endure the continual to and fro of doctors, he i n s i s t s that h i s daughter marry a doctor so that he can count on constant medical assistance from h i s son-in-law. Sganarelle and Argan react mechanically when they resort to doctors as c u r e - a l l s ; they are i n f l e x i b l e i n lending b l i n d f a i t h to t h e i r diagnoses. For both of them, t h i s r e l i a n c e on doctors has become an obsession. - 94 -Obsession i s the comic v i c e , f o r as Bergson e x p l a i n s , i t s i m p l i f i e s r a t h e r 23 than complicates l i f e . By r e s o r t i n g to doctors, they avoid c o n f r o n t i n g the r e a l i s s u e s : S g a n a r e l l e , that h i s daughter has reached marriageable age; Argan, that he has unwisely married a younger woman. The f i g u r e of the doctor i s r i d i c u l o u s i n that he, too, r e a c t s r i g i d l y and mechanically. I n f l e x i b l e i n maintaining that h i s diagnosis and cure i s the only c o r r e c t one, he i s un homme qu i c r o i t a ses r e g i e s plus qu'a toutes l e s demonstrations des mathematiques, et q u i c r o i r a i t du crime a l e s v o u l o i r examiner; q u i ne v o i t r i e n d'obscur dans l a medecine, r i e n de douteux, r i e n de d i f f i c i l e , et q u i , avec une impetuosite de p r e v e n t i o n , une r o i d e u r de confiance, une b r u t a l i t e de sens commun et de r a i s o n , donne au t r a v e r s des purgations et des saignees,, et ne balance aucune chose. (Maiade, p. 438) Refusing to consider the experiments of contemporary science which, at the time, were d i s p r o v i n g more and more the tenets of the a n c i e n t s , he a u t o m a t i c a l l y turns to A r i s t o t l e and Hippocrates to support h i s diagnosis as i f he b e l i e v e d " q u ' i l vaut mieux mourir selon l e s r e g i e s que de rechapper contre l e s r e g i e s " (Amour, p. 432). In d e s c r i b i n g " l e comique p r o f e s s i o n e l , " Bergson gives the example of M o l i e r e ' s doctors who " t r a i t e n t l e malade comme s ' i l a v a i t ete cree pour l e medecin, et l a nature elle-meme 24 comme une dependance de l a medecine," and who, c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r 25 "endurcissement p r o f e s s i o n n e l , " have t h e i r own language and l o g i c . To the r i g i d i t y of the d o c t o r s , M o l i e r e opposes the f l e x i b i l i t y of nature. When Argan asks h i s b r o t h e r , Beralde, who has been c r i t i c i z i n g d o c t o r s , "Que f a i r e done quand on est malade?" Beralde answers, "Rien. I I faut demeurer en repos. La nature, d ' e l l e meme, quand nous l a l a i s s o n s f a i r e , se t i r e doucement du desordre ou e l l e est tombee" (p. 438). The doctors i n s i s t that t h e i r knowledge i s c e r t a i n when the f u n c t i o n i n g of the human body i s s t i l l a mystery "ou le s hommes ne voient goutte" (p. 437). The cer t a i n t y of the doctors i s completely subverted by the fact that i n eith e r comedy no one i s r e a l l y s i c k , and t h e i r very presence i s thus extraneous. This i s already i m p l i c i t i n the t i t l e s for both t i t l e s deny the need for doctors: i n L'Amour medecin, love i s the great healer and i n Le Malade imaginaire, the patient i s not si c k . In the commedia d e l l * a r t e as well as i n g a l l i c comic t r a d i t i o n , the figure of the doctor was often a 26 source of r i d i c u l e ; Moliere, however, i n h i s po r t r a y a l of doctors goes beyond simply poking fun at them but attacks "bien avant l a querelle des Anciens et des Modernes, . . . l ' a u t o r i t e excessive dont j o u i s s a i e n t l e s medecins de l ' a n t i q u i t e , l e c r e d i t aveugle f a i t a A r i s t o t e , a Hippocrate at a Galien. . .Aux Anciens, i l opposait l e s decouvertes des 'gens de maintenant', qui seules, selon l u i , pouvaient veritablment f a i r e avancer , • ..27 l a science. The doctors i n L'Amour medecin and Le Malade imaginaire give c o n f l i c t i n g diagnoses. Moreover, they have the notoriety of k i l l i n g rather than curing the s i c k . This information i s revealed to us i n both cases by the t r i c k s t e r servant. When Argan describes the fortune that Thomas Di a f o i r u s i s going to i n h e r i t from Monsieur Purgon, Toinette comments, "II faut q u ' i l a i t tue bien des gens, pour s'etre f a i t s i r i c h e " (p. 396). L i s e t t e mocks the doctors when she t e l l s them that they should bring to court "un insolent qui a eu 1'effronterie d'entreprendre sur ^LeurJ metier, et qui sans jleur) ordonnance, vient de tuer un homme d'un grand coup d'epee au travers du corps" (p. 435). Doctors are thus seen to be on the side of sickness and death rather than health and l i f e . Death i s the most r i g i d obstacle that imposes i t s e l f upon l i f e — w e even describe the - 96 -condition that sets i n at death as r i g o r m o r t i s — a n d there i s no compromis-ing with i t . The doctors are anti-nature and a n t i - l i f e i n terms of the t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest as well as of t h e i r profession for they, 28 too, do not understand about love.- In L1Amour medecin, they are b l i n d to the p o s s i b i l i t y that Lucinde may be i n love. In Le Malade imaginaire, the newly graduated doctor and Argan's choice as son-in-law, Thomas Di a f o i r u s , who i s as ready to support Argan's t y r a n n i c a l wishes as he i s to support A r i s t o t l e ' s or Hippocrates' outdated techniques, repels Angeliques' pleas to respect her desires. The doctors j o i n the ranks of the father figures as alazons for they uphold the father's obsession and thus help to hinder the cause of love. It i s t h e i r masters' obsession with doctors that the servant women have to r e s i s t i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to ai d the young lovers. In the two comedies, however, t h i s obsession has a d i f f e r e n t e f f e c t on the young lovers' s i t u a t i o n : In Le Malade imaginaire, Argan's dependence on doctors causes Angelique and Cleante to lose more and more hope whereas i n L'Amour medecin, L i s e t t e i s able to take advantage of Sganarelle's b l i n d t r u s t i n doctors to bring about Lucinde's and Clitandre's marriage. The servant women go against t h e i r masters by being on the side of health as well as love; i t i s by undermining the doctors' authority that L i s e t t e and Toinette seek to break t h e i r masters' c o n t r o l . Thus, the health-sickness oppostion i n these two plays i s a rea f f i r m a t i o n of the servant-master contest. There are no doctors i n the two Goldoni comedies but the fathers oppose t h e i r daughters' choice i n marriage partner for reasons that are jus t as s e l f i s h as Sganarelle's or Argan's. Although we f i n d i n both comedies characters with t y p i c a l commedia d e l l ' a r t e names—in either comedy, - 97 -the father f i g u r e i s c a l l e d Pantalone—and Pantalone and the male servants r e t a i n t h e i r respective d i a l e c t s , they have a l l l o s t t h e i r masks and become independent characters. La castalda and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e are s i m i l a r i n that the woman servant i s interested i n making her fortune as well as i n helping her young mistresses to marry. In e i t h e r comedy, the woman servant has come, through her personal charm and masterful running of the household, to occupy an important p o s i t i o n i n the family. She a l i g n s h e r s e l f with her young mistresses and uses her ascendancy over her master to render him more f l e x i b l e with regard to his daughters' and niece's ( i n the case of La castalda) choice i n marriage partner. The t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest i s therefore present i n these comedies, but there i s another contest going on which i s more i n t e r e s t i n g than the t r a d i t i o n a l one and which can only be approximated to a servant-master one, for i t i s of a d i f f e r e n t nature than the one found i n the other comedies which feature a servant t r i c k s t e r . F i r s t of a l l , the woman servant i n La castalda and i n La cameriera b r i l l a n t e i s from the opening of the play i n c o n t r o l . She has been so for some time before the play begins and she i s c e r t a i n of her strength; she i s able to manage her and her master's a f f a i r s as she wishes. In La castalda, C o r a l l i n a t e l l s Frangiotto, a fellow servant, "Sono tr e anni che non solo f a c c i o io a mio r 29 modo, ma e g l i [Pantalone] f a a modo mio." When at the beginning of La Cameriera b r i l l a n t e , Flamihia expresses concern that C l a r i c e ' s threats to have Argentina dismissed may come true, Argentina assures her, "Non dubitate; non me n'andero. II padrone non mi lascierebbe andare per centomila 30 d u c a t i . " Later on i n the same scene, she further explains to Flaminia, "Non sapete che quando io v o g l i o , meno g l i uomini per i l naso? II signor Pantalone principalmente per me farebbe moneta f a l s a " (p. 193). We see the basis of the servant-master contest not so much i n the struggle of Argentina and C o r a l l i n a to secure t h e i r p o s i t i o n and prepare f o r t h e i r future, which they achieve with r e l a t i v e ease, but rather i n the depiction of less fortunate servants. In both La castalda and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , we f i n d servants whose condition contrasts sharply with C o r a l l i n a ' s and Argentina's and we understand t h e i r concern i n wanting to strengthen and secure t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n the household. In La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , when Argentina has succeeded i n having both Ottavio and Florindo i n v i t e d to dinner, Traccagnino, Ottavio's servant, asks Argentina i f he, too, can stay. She t e l l s him that since no arrangements have been made for him, he w i l l have to go and eat at the inn. But Traccagnino explains that he has no money for Ottavio has not paid him, " E l spendera d e i ze c c h i n i per farse creder un signor grando; ma per e l povero s e r v i t o r n ol gh'ha gnente de c a r i t a " (p. 226). Argentina commiserates with him and c r i t i c i z e s i r r e s p o n s i b l e masters, "Poverino! v i compatisco. Ecco qui quel che fanno t a n t i e t a n t i d i questi s i g n o r i , . . . spendono tutto i n grandezze. A b i t i , trattamenti, d i v e r t i m e n t i , e l a s e r v i t u p a t i s c e . . .Che serve i l regalare per v a n i t a , per fas t o , quando i s e r v i t o r i s i lamentano che no corre i l s a l a r i o ? " (p. 226). In La castalda, i t i s Arlecchino who reveals h i s harsh condition as the servant of an impoverished nobleman, again, by the name of Ottavio. The comedy opens as Arlecchino eats hungrily away at the food which C o r a l l i n a provides for him. He i s h e a r t i l y g r a t e f u l to her fo r feeding him and t e l l s her, "vu s i fortunada, che s e r v i un patron r i c c o : ma,mi servo un maledetto spianta, povero e superbo" (p. 13). Unlike the servants i n Pantalone's household, who at least are assured of regular - 99 -meals, Arlecchi.no's three meals a day consist of "Polenta, acqua e bastonade" (p. 13). When Ottavio, a few scenes l a t e r , promises C o r a l l i n a that i f she i s ever i n need of employment, he w i l l gladly take her on, she says to h e r s e l f , knowing him for what he i s , " l o , grazie a l c i e l o , non ho bisogno d i l u i " (p. 18). Moreover, the woman servant i n these plays i s set on marrying her master and i n t h i s way permanently assuring her s e c u r i t y . E i t h e r comedy "svolge i l tema, caro a l settecento, d e l l a serva padrona, o s s i a d e l l a 31 serva che r i e s c e a sedurre e a sposare i l vecchio padrone." But neither C o r a l l i n a nor Argentina i s " l a serva padrona dei troppi seguaci d i un Pergolesi (un f i g u r i n o divenuto presto d i maniera, buono per l e m a l i z i o s i cadenze d i voce e gesto d e l l e soprano amorose) , ma una aweduta f attoressa 32 che a l l e moine d e l l a seduttrice accoppia un pacato c a l c o l o d i potere." There are h i n t s throughout La cameriera b r i l l a n t e that Argentina's i n t e r e s t s l i e i n marrying her master but she does not openly admit i t u n t i l the end of Act II when she proposes, though i n a very roundabout way, to Pantalone. In the l a s t of the three s k i t s which she acts out i n front of the family, she dresses up i n Pantalone's clothes and assuming h i s r o l e , speaks for him: "E saveu c h i xe una putta de sesto, che me plase assae? Arzentina. Anca e l l a , poverazza, no l a xe ne a l t i e r a co fa un b a s a l i s c o , ne gnocca co f a una talpa: l a gh'ha anca e l l a un no so che de mezzo, che me piase anca a mi. Sangue de diana! Sibben che so vecchio, l a v o i sposar" (p. 240),' whereby p r a i s i n g h e r s e l f and putting h e r s e l f forward as a worthy and w i l l i n g marriage candidate. In La castalda, C o r a l l i n a at f i r s t misinterprets Pantalone's i n t e n t i o n to remarry and for a while works at cross-purposes to her i n t e r e s t s . Not suspecting that he has her i n - 100 -mind, she t r i e s to dissuade him from t h i s i n t e n t i o n f o r serving h i s wife would go contrary to her plans. "Avrei f i n i t o a l l o r a d i comandare e d i metter da parte" (p. 23), she thinks to h e r s e l f . When Pantalone, however, makes i t clear that i t i s she that he wants to marry, she quickly changes her tune and l e t s him know that i n marrying her, he would be doing a wise thing. C o r a l l i n a as well as Argentina i s i n the d i f f i c u l t p o s i t i o n of having to go against her master's wishes i n order to help her young mistress while at the same time t r y i n g not to alienate him from h e r s e l f . If Argentina and C o r a l l i n a are happy to help the young lovers i t i s i n large part because i t i s to t h e i r advantage to have t h e i r young mistresses married and thus out of the house. Moreover, i n showing themselves a l l i e d to the young people, Argentina and C o r a l l i n a win i n exchange t h e i r young mistresses' approval i n marrying t h e i r father or uncle. Although Toinette cannot expect to marry her master f o r he has recently m a r r i e d — i t would, moreover, have been unconceivable i n the seventeenth century for a master to marry h i s servant—she i s l i k e C o r a l l i n a and Argentina i n that she too i s intent on securing her p o s i t i o n i n the household. That she has been i n the family f o r some time i s indicated by Angelique's t r u s t i n her and by her reply to Argan that Angelique "obeira Jja. moij plutot qu'a vous" (p. 398). But due to Argan's remarriage, Toinette's s e c u r i t y i s threatened f o r Argan has married a greedy and c a l c u l a t i n g woman who su c c e s s f u l l y manipulates Argan to do as she de s i r e s . It i s with Beline's approval and l a r g e l y through her i n s t i g a t i n g that Argan oppresses h i s family and household. In p l o t t i n g to expose Beline's true nature to Argan, Toinette expects not only to assure Angelique's marriage with Clitandre but to improve her own s i t u a t i o n - 101 -as w e l l . I f Argan i s ready to d i s i n h e r i t and send o f f to the convent h i s daughters i n order to please h i s w i f e , how much l e s s i s he going to be concerned about Toin e t t e ' s w e l f a r e , no matter how many years she has f a i t h f u l l y served the f a m i l y . Should h i s w i f e choose to dismiss her, Toinette can hope f o r no support from Argan. Although she speaks f r a n k l y and even ru d e l y to Argan, T o i n e t t e i s c a r e f u l not to do so i n f r o n t of B e l i n e . Thus, T o i n e t t e , l i k e C o r a l l i n a and Argentina, i n order to help the young l o v e r s get married, must be c a r e f u l not to a l i e n a t e her employer, i n t h i s case, her m i s t r e s s . I f B e l i n e discovered that Toinette was working against her, i f Pantalone r e a l i z e d that C o r a l l i n a was winning the favour of others at h i s expense, i f Argentina's bold proposal were re f u s e d , d i s m i s s a l would be imminent. A l l three of these p l a y s , t h e r e f o r e , s t r i k e a r e a l i s t i c note w i t h regard to the precarious p o s i t i o n of servants. However, although unemployment i s f o r them a very r e a l p o s s i b i l i t y , a l l three servant women are conscious of t h e i r power and t h e i r a b i l i t y to manipulate t h e i r masters. In f a c t , Argentina and C o r a l l i n a are both able to threaten to leave i n order to get what they want; and Toi n e t t e has been so s k i l l f u l i n d i s s i m u l a t i n g before B e l i n e , that when Argan, whom she has openly antagonized, wants to dismiss her, i t i s B e l i n e who defends T o i n e t t e , "Mon Dieu! mon f i l s , i l n'y a p o i n t de s e r v i t e u r s et de servantes q u i n'aient l e u r s defaut. . .Celle-ce e st a d r o i t e , soigneuse, d i l i g e n t , et surtout f i d e l e " (p. 399). There i s no suggestion of a servant-master contest i n L'Amour medecin. L i k e M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, L i s e t t e i s an adept inventor , of stratagems and conscious of her a r t . "Vous verrez que j e s a i s des detours" (p. 424), she says encouragingly to the d e s p a i r i n g Lucinde. L a t e r , she - 102 -t e l l s C l i t a n d r e , "et s i c e t t e aventure nous manque, nous trouverons m i l l e autres v o i e s pour a r r i v e r a notre but" (p. 436). She thus shares M a c a s r i l l e ' s and Scapin's philosophy that i f one stratagem f a i l s , another one can be q u i c k l y invented. L i s e t t e a l t r u i s t i c a l l y v o l u n t e e r s her s e r v i c e s becaue she b e l i e v e s that a g i r l i s completely j u s t i f i e d i n r e b e l l i n g against an unreasonable f a t h e r . " I I ne faut pas," she advises Lucinde, "se l a i s s e r mener comme un o i s o n ; et pourvu que l'honneur n'y s o i t pas o f f e n s e , on peut se l i b e r e r un peu de l a t y r a n n i e d'un pere" (p. 424). Again, l i k e M a s c a r i l l e and Scapin, L i s e t t e maintains an unwavering f a i t h i n young l o v e : "Je ne puis v o i r deux amants s o u p i r e r l'un pour 1*autre, q u ' i l ne me prenne une tendresse c h a r i t a b l e , et un d e s i r ardent de soulager l e s maux q u ' i l s s o u f f r e n t " (p. 436). C o r a l l i n a and A r g e n t i n a , however, share an u n e n t h u s i a s t i c a t t i t u d e toward love and marriage which r e v e a l s a c y n i c a l though more r e a l i s t i c understanding of l i f e . C o r a l l i n a , a widow, has an unhappy memory of her marriage. She asks F r a n g i o t t o , "Non ho da r i n g r a z i a r e i l c i e l o , che mi ha l e v a t o d'attorno un marito i l p i u f a s t i d i o s o d i questo mondo?" (p. 19). And although she f e e l s a s l i g h t r e g r e t i n having chosen to marry Pantalone r a t h e r than F r a n g i o t t o because he i s young and handsome whereas Pantalone i s o l d , she q u i c k l y r e - a d j u s t s her l i n e of thought, "ma non sono sx pazza a perdere l a mia f o r t u n a . . . i d e n a r i fanno parer t u t t o b e l l o . I d e n a r i hanno una f o r z a i n d i c i b i l e ; scemano g l i a n n i , l i s c i a n o l a p e l l e , raddrizzano l e gobbe e coprono l e magagne" (p. 54). And f o r the r e s t of the comedy, C o r a l l i n a f e e l s no more r e g r e t s . When, i n I I I , 5, Rosaura says that her happiness should be the greater of the two because her husband-to-be i s young and C o r a l l i n a ' s i s o l d , C o r a l l i n a t h i n k s to - 103 -h e r s e l f , "Per me v o r r e i c h ' e g l i avesse a l t r i vent'anni d i p i u , purche per ogni anno g l i crescessero m i l l e s c u d i " (p. 60). Argentina i s no l e s s c y n i c a l about love and marriage. In a monologue, she informs us, "L'amore, per quel ch'io sento, e una cosa che f a r i d e r e e che f a piangere. Io pero f i n o r a non ho mai p i a n t o ; e spero che per questa ragione non piangero. Io f a c c i o all'amore, come s i f a quando a s c o l t a s i una commedia. F i n che mi da p i a c e r e , l ' a s c o l t o ; quando p r i n c i p i a ad annoiarmi, mi metto i n maschera e vado v i a " (p. 193). We w i l l hear M i r a n d o l i n a i n La l o c a n d i e r a echo s i m i l a r sentiments i n the next chapter. In Le Malade i m a g i n a i r e , when she cautions Angelique about the s i n c e r i t y of l o v e r s , T o i n e t t e a l s o uses an analogy to t h e a t r e i n d e s c r i b i n g l o v e , r e v e a l i n g a s l i g h t c y n i c i s m on her p a r t : "Les grimaces d'amour ressemblent f o r t a l a v e r i t e ; et j ' a i vu de grands comediens la-dessus" (p. 393). One t h i n k s i n p a r t i c u l a r of B e l i n e . T o i n e t t e , then, although she does b e l i e v e that a g i r l " d o i t epouser un mari pour e l l e " (p. 395), i s not a u t o m a t i c a l l y on the s i d e of love as L i s e t t e i s . She i s , however, prepared to do everything i n her power to help Angelique, f o r to Angelique's pleas f o r h e l p , she answers, "Moi, vous abandonner? J'aimerais mieux mourir. Votre belle-mere a .beau me f a i r e sa c o n f i d e n t e , et me v o u l o i r j e t e r dans ses i n t e r e t s , j e n ' a i jamais pu a v o i r d ' i n c l i n a t i o n pour e l l e , et j ' a i toujours ete de v o t r e p a r t i . Laissez-moi f a i r e : j ' e m p l o i e r a i toute chose pour vous s e r v i r " (p. 403). I f Argentina and C o r a l l i n a r e v e a l a c e r t a i n c y n i c i s m towards love and marriage, they are not f o r t h i s reason c a l l o u s about t h e i r young m i s t r e s s e s ' f u t u r e happiness. They may be s e r v i n g t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s i n h e l p i n g the g i r l s get married but they, too, l i k e T o i n e t t e , b e l i e v e that a - 104 -g i r l "doit epouser un mari pour e l l e " (Malade, p. 395). Argentina a c t u a l l y expresses her concern for Flaminia's future before she worries about her own, "Mi preme. . . l a signora Flaminia, e l a serv i r o come va. Mi preme poi me medesima e non perdero d i v i s t a l ' i n t e r e s s e mio" (p. 213). Although she antagonizes C l a r i c e , i t i s only "per r i s v e g l i a r l a " (p. 192), and teach her to be l e s s haughty and to mellow her moods, that i s , to be more f l e x i b l e ; otherwise, she w i l l never succeed i n marrying Florindo nor i n being happy with him. When C o r a l l i n a refuses to accept Pantalone's proposal u n t i l he has arragned for Rosuara's marriage, i t i s because i t s u i t s her to have Rosaura married and out of her hands. But when Pantalone explains that he has already done so by promising Rosaura to L e l i o , C o r a l l i n a , knowing that i t i s Florindo who her young mistress loves, i s ready to oppose Pantalone and take Rosaura's side. Thus, i f Argentina and C o r a l l i n a are anxious to help t h e i r young mistresses to marry, i t i s for the sake of the g i r l s ' happiness as well as t h e i r own. A comparison of the Moliere plays with Goldoni's reveals that Le Malade imaginaire resembles La castalda i n p a r t i c u l a r and that L'Amour medecin and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e have c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n common. In the former plays, the woman servant i s not the only t r i c k s t e r and both C o r a l l i n a and Toinette must proceed with caution, guarding themselves against the deceptions of other t r i c k s t e r s which go contrary to t h e i r own plans. Although the other t r i c k s t e r s are t h e i r s o c i a l superiors, C o r a l l i n a and Toinette prove to be more than t h e i r match. In L'Amour medecin and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , the woman servant i s the sole t r i c k s t e r and both Argentina and L i s e t t e ultimately overcome the alazon figure by involving the characters i n a comedy. In these two plays, the comedy-within-the-- 105 -comedy serves the same function as a stratagem; here the two meanings to the word play come together. In staging a comedy, Argentina and L i s e t t e are able to manipulate by putting into 'play' the difference between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n . Whereas L'Amour medecin i s a short p l a y — i f the b a l l e t scenes are disregarded—with s t y l i z e d characters and a simple development, La  cameriera b r i l l a n t e i s a f u l l - l e n g t h play where the t r a d i t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest i s complicated by the fact that each of the l o v e r s — w i t h the exception of Flaminia who i s perhaps too p l i a n t i n accepting Ottavio as he i s — r e a c t s r i g i d l y . Thus, the lovers i n the Goldoni play act both as eiron and alazon, being themselves p a r t l y responsible for the obstacles which bar t h e i r respective marriages. In order to r e a l i z e the young lovers' marriages, Argentina, unlike L i s e t t e whose only objective i s to r e s i s t the blocking father f i g u r e must contend not only with Pantalone's misanthropy but also C l a r i c e ' s pride, Ottavio's presumptuousness, and Florindo's boorishness. Like Sganarelle i n L'Amour medecin, Pantalone i n La cameriera  b r i l l a n t e refuses to acknowledge the f a c t that h i s daughters have reached marriageable age and are anxious to marry. Pantalone i n s i s t s , "no v o i v i s i t e , no v o i complimenti, no v o i nissun" (p. 197); as long as he sees no one, he avoids confronting the issue of f i n d i n g husbands for h i s daughters and f i n a l i z i n g marriage contracts. Before she resorts to staging her comedy, Argentina must persuade Pantalone to i n v i t e Ottavio and Florindo. Her foremost persuasive method i s by entertaining and she demonstrates throughout the play her t h e a t r i c a l a b i l i t y . Aware of Pantalone's fondness for her, Argentina manipulates h i s desire for her by playing games with - 106 -him; she j e s t s and teases him, sighs at opportune times, beginning to speak and then h e s i t a t i n g to continue so that he has to plead with her to t e l l him what she i s thinking. In t h i s way, she never allows h e r s e l f be pinned down but maintains an aura of elusiveness about her. Though a misanthrope, Pantalone seeks her company. She keeps him guessing about her fee l i n g s for him u n t i l she judges that i t i s the r i g h t moment to reveal them. And even when she does reveal them, she does so under the guise of an entertainment f o r she l e t s him know that she wants to marry him while impersonating him. Pantalone i s enthralled by Argentina. "La m'ha incocalxo (p. 240), " l a m'incanta" (p. 198), he expresses through-out the comedy, and he happily admits, "Mi son de natura p i u t t o s t o caldo, piut t o s t o f u r i o s o ; e c u s t i a l a me reduse co f a un agnello" (p. 198). Pantalone, however, i s w i l l i n g to be enticed by Argentina only as long as she plays with h i s amourous fe e l i n g s for her. The moment she brings up the subject of h i s daughters and arranging t h e i r marriages to Ottavio and Florindo, he does not want to t a l k about i t and appreciates no j e s t s or teasing on that subject. Thus, i n order to get the young men i n v i t e d to dinner, Argentina must put her jokes and games aside for a while and resort to other persuasive methods. She consequently threatens to resign„if Ottavio i s not i n v i t e d to dinner, accusing Pantalone of not maintaining h i s word to her, a promise, however, which Pantalone had o r i g i n a l l y made only under pressure from her. But she i s not s a t i s f i e d when Pantalone agrees to i n v i t e Ottavio. Florindo must come, too. In a very adept speech, wherein she shows that she has foreseen a l l h i s objec-t i o n s , Argentina points out to Pantalone how much he gains and how l i t t l e he loses i n i n v i t i n g Florindo as w e l l , " I I signor padrone, con un poco d i - 107 -piu, soddisfa a tutte l e convenienze, a t u t t i gl'impegni: salva i l decoro, l a p o l i t i c a , l l ' i n t e r e s s e . Soddisfa l e f i g l i u o l e e s i fa un onore immortale" (p. 222). Her speech has i t s intended e f f e c t ; Pantalone i s won over. Argentina encounters greater d i f f i c u l t y i n t r y i n g to render the personality of the young lovers more malleable. Unless they mellow them-selves, they are unsuitable as marriage partners and as s o c i a l beings; i n order to survive i n a marriage and i n society, i t i s necessary to f i n d a balance, to follow " l a strada de mezzo" (p. 239), which i s what Argentina t r i e s to demonstrate throughout Goldoni's play as well as i n her own. Argentina i s b r i l l a n t e because of her wit and her a b i l i t y to e n t e r t a i n others to laugh. But although at the beginning of the play Argentina assures Flaminia, worried that C l a r i c e may have Argentina dismissed, that she can win C l a r i c e over by entertaining her; " l e di r o tante b e l l e cose, tante buffonerie; l a baciero, l a preghero, l e b a l l e r o d inanzi, l a faro r i d e r e non sara a l t r o " (p. 192), and Flaminia admits that Argentina "Farejbbe] r i d e r e i s a s s i " (p. 192), we only ever see Pantalone and Flammina amused by Argentina's a n t i c s . By the end of Act I, i t i s clear that C l a r i c e , Florindo, and Ottavio have no sense of humour. They do not laugh because they take themselves too s e r i o u s l y and respond to everything l i t e r a l l y . They do not understand subtlety and for that reason Argentina's jokes and j e s t s /are lost on them. Moreover, laughter i s spontaneous, and thus, a sign of f l e x i b i l i t y , a q u a l i t y , however, which i s somewhat lacking i n these love r s . They function rather l i k e agroikos or 33 k i l l - j o y types; they are the opposite of the buffoons, who i n t h i s play are represented by the servants, B r i g h e l l a and Traccagnino. We can see i n La cameriera b r i l l a n t e how "the contest of eiron and alazon forms the - 108 -basis of the comic action, and the buffoon and the churl p o l a r i z e the 34 comic mood." Argentina handles these c h u r l i s h figures by giving them a dose of t h e i r own medecine:: she pretends to take them l i t e r a l l y . Although she amuses he r s e l f i n the process, they never r e a l i z e that they are being taken i n . At 1 the beginning of Act I, Argentina s k i l l f u l l y antagonizes C l a r i c e by taking her orders to t h e i r l i t e r a l l i m i t s . Later on i n the play, when C l a r i c e and Florindo are q u a r e l l i n g , Argentina pretends to approve of Florindo's model of an austere and s o l i t a r y l i f e — Florindo prefigures the r u s t e g h i — b y exclaiming how well i t would s u i t C l a r i c e . I n f u r i a t e d , C l a r i c e cuts the conversation short by t e l l i n g Florindo that she has no i n t e n t i o n of marrying him. When he answers, not the l e a s t b i t disconcerted, "Pazienza, se non avero v o i , no trovero u n ' a l t r a " (p. 212), Argentina o f f e r s h e r s e l f i n C l a r i c e ' s stead. As an example of t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to understand subtlety, both Florindo and C l a r i c e take Argentina's o f f e r s e r i o u s l y . In t h i s way, Argentina i s able to make C l a r i c e decide once and for a l l that she does want to marry Florindo. Argentina responds to Ottavio by grossly exaggerating h i s a r i s t o c r a t i c pretensions. She hopes to defl a t e h i s ego by i n f l a t i n g i t , but i n h i s answers to Argentina, Ottavio reveals that he, too, i s a l i t e r a l person. When Argentina explains to Pantalone that he should be honoured to know a person such as Ottavio for he i s descended from four kings, Ottavio, i n a l l seriousness, i n t e r r u p t s , "No, no, non sono t a n t i " (p. 217). Next, Argentina overstates h i s income and Ottavio must again correct her. She continues her game by naming smaller amounts of money u n t i l at t h i r t y z e c c h i n i , Ottavio stops her by admitting " i n c i r c a " (p. 217). Ottavio never r e a l i z e s that Argentina has a l l along been d i s c r e d i t i n g h i s - 109 -claims to n o b i l i t y and wealth. In f a c t , when l a t e r i n the same scene Argentina threatens to leave Pantalone, saying that she w i l l go and work f o r O t t a v i o i n s t e a d , O t t a v i o , responding l i k e Pantalone to her o f f e r as i f she were s e r i o u s , agrees to take her on. By the end of Act I I , Argentina has succeeded i n having Ottavio and F l o r i n d o stay f o r dinner and persuaded the company to watch the l i t t l e s k i t s which she has prepared f o r t h e i r entertainment, although Pantalone r e s i s t s at f i r s t , due to h i s i n a b i l i t y to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between r e a l i t y and p l a y . "Ma se no xe vero. . ,Ve digo che no xe vero" (pp. 234-5), he i n s i s t s when Argentina presents h e r s e l f as " l a contessa d e l l ' O r i z z o n t e " and says "facciamo i l conto che s i a vero" "(che] l e f i g l i e d e l signor Pantalone devono m a r i t a r s i con q u e s t i due c a v a l i e r i " (p. 234). With the help of Traccagnino, she hopes to d u p l i c a t e f o r each character t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e of r i g i d i t y , to catch and freeze i t so that they can see themselves r e f l e c t e d o u t s ide of themselves. In the f i r s t s k i t , aimed at O t t a v i o and C l a r i c e , she d e p i c t s a couple w i t h a r i s t o c r a t i c pretenions who have become a l i e n a t e d from each other and whose household i s on the b r i n k of r u i n ; i n the second, aimed at F l o r i n d o and F l a m i n i a , she shows a peasant couple who l i v e i n s o l i t u d e and a u s t e r i t y , without b e n e f i t of s o c i e t y . But c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e i r l a c k of f l e x i b i l i t y , none of them sees him or h e r s e l f r i d i c u l e d i n the l i t t l e s k i t s . Instead, they each approve of the f i g u r e that was supposed to c a r i c a t u r e them. Argentina's f i r s t t h e a t r i c a l production e n t e r t a i n s her spectators but f a i l s to convince those concerned that " S i o r Ottavio va troppo i n a l t o , s i o F l o r i n d o e l va troppo basso;. . .Flaminia xe troppo umile; C l a r i c e xe troppo a l t i e r a " (p. 239). Argentina i s going to have to r e s o r t to yet - no -other means i n order to make them a l t e r t h e i r ways. Argentina has more success with Pantalone, who approves of the image of himself that Argentina projects when she dresses up as himself. I t i s the p o s i t i v e image of a man who follows " l a strada de mezzo" (p. 239) ; "Nol xe omo che ghe piasa grandezze, ma no ghe piase gnanca l ' i n c i v i l t a e " (p. 239), a man, moreover, who wants to marry Argentina and arrange for h i s daughters' marriages. In L'Amour medecin, Sganarelle also reveals himself to be a l i t e r a l person. In her f i r s t attempt to make Sganarelle r e a l i z e the extent of Lucinde's unhappiness, L i s e t t e t e l l s him that her condition i s serious and that unless something i s done r i g h t away, " e l l e ne passera pas l a journee" (p. 426). L i s e t t e f a i l s to make Sganarella understand that the cure for Lucinde's 'sickness' i s a husband for he responds l i t e r a l l y to her d e s c r i p t i o n of Lucinde's condition as i f i t were a r e a l p h y s i c a l disorder, r e q u i r i n g the need for doctors. L i s e t t e , however, i s not undaunted and uses t h i s unexpected turn of events to her advantage. She i s able to present her l i t t l e comedy to Sganarelle and have him suspend hi s b e l i e f for the very reason that he i s dependent on doctors and ready to believe everything they say. The f i n a l stratagem that both L i s e t t e and Argentina resort to i s to d i r e c t a comedy i n which they involve the young lovers and the fathers. Both L i s e t t e and Argentina openly suggest to the alazon figures the playing of a comedy but whereas i n L'Amour medecin, the young lovers are aware that the comedy i s being presented to deceive, none of the characters i n La cameriera b r i l l a n t e i s aware of Argentina's "secondo f i n e " (p. 230). Furthermore, Sganarelle i s the only one i n L'Amour medecin with-- I l l -out a part and the only one who Is t r i c k e d ; i n La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , everyone acts and i s manipulated by Argentina according to plan. L i s e t t e ' s plan i s to have Clitandre pretend to be a doctor and t e l l Sganarella that he can cure Lucinde by an innovative method which requires f l a t t e r i n g "1'imagination des malades" (p. 439). Clitandre consequently convinces Sganarelle that he can l i f t Lucinde out of her melancholy by enacting a marriage ceremony with himself as her supposed husband. Neither Clitandre nor Lucinde, however, i s pretending; they are i n fact r e a l i z i n g a long-held dream. "L'homme qui e c r i t [les] remedes" (p. 440) i s r e a l l y a notary who writes up an authentic marriage contract. And Clitandre and Lucinde t r u l y acknowledge t h e i r love for each other and t r u l y exchange t h e i r vows while Sganarelle, who thinks he i s only watching a comedy, enjoys himself immensely. When the young lovers leave, "|pour] achever l e reste du mariage" (p. 441), L i s e t t e brings Sganarelle back to r e a l i t y by t e l l i n g him, "vous avez cru f a i r e un jeu qui demeure une v e r i t e " (p. 441), and Sganarelle's pleasure turns into anger. The play which Argentina organizes i s c a l l e d I s p r o p o s i t i and i t i s a c t u a l l y a reproduction of La cameriera b r i l l a n t e ; there are the same number of characters with the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , only t h e i r names are d i f f e r e n t . In order to counteract the r i g i d i t y of her people, she assigns them a part i n exact opposition to t h e i r p e r sonality, thus f o r c i n g them to say what they have so far refused to say i n Goldoni's comedy. With the introduction of a comedy-within-the-comedy, both L i s e t t e and Argentina bring into play the difference between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n . L i s e t t e i s able, due to Sganarelle's b l i n d f a i t h i n doctors and to the fact that " [ i l ] n'est pas des plus f i n s de ce monde" (p. 436), - 112 -to reverse r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n . Sganarelle never suspects that he i s seeing r e a l i t y ; instead, he suspends h i s b e l i e f and enjoys the scene before him as i f he were at the theatre. Thus, he thinks he i s watching an i l l u s i o n when he i s watching r e a l i t y , which i s the opposite of what i s supposed to happen at the theatre, where a play l u l l s us into thinking we are watching r e a l i t y when we know a l l along that i t i s an enactment. Argentina's actors, however, are not w i l l i n g to suspend t h e i r b e l i e f s . In the same way that t h e i r l i t e r a l n e s s does not allow them to understand the subtlety of Argentina's j e s t s , i t does not allow them to accept the make-believe nature of theatre, and they rebel against acting out parts which are a n t i t h e t i c a l to t h e i r nature. They thus confuse i l l u s i o n i n a play with r e a l i t y . Giannina, i n Un curioso accidente, we r e c a l l , had a s i m i l a r problem. In Argentina's comedy, the young lovers, forced to say what they would never say i n r e a l i t y , f e e l the need to explicate themselves and they each interrupt h i s or her own l i n e s as 35 w e l l as those of the others. Argentina must coach them i n the saying of t h e i r l i n e s , often having to point out that such and such a l i n e i s not i n the part. In order to keep them acting, she must constantly remind them that i t i s a play; she must keep the d i s t i n c t i o n between i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y c l e a r . Pantalone, too, s l i p s from the play into r e a l i t y but unli k e the others, he i s enjoying h i s part, for i t gives him the freedom to woo Argentina, and he adds h i s own l i n e s : "Son vostro, se vole, caro ben mio" (p. 251) and " S i , se b e l l a , e se l e mie r a i s e " (p. 252). But Argentina i n s i s t s with Pantalone as well as the others, "questo non v i e n e l l a parte" (p. 252). With Pantalone, Argentina succeeds as she had hoped " d i f a g l i fare d i quelle cose, che pensandovi sopra con s e r l e t a - 113 -forse forse non l e farebbe" (p. 242). More evidence of Pantalone's b l u r r i n g of r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n , with even more humourous r e s u l t s , i s indicated when he refuses to say as part of h i s l i n e s that he i s " [un] vecchio impotente" (p. 253). When B r i g h e l l a , who i s doing the prompting, says that " E l poeta se lamentera" i f Pantalone does not say h i s l i n e s r i g h t , Pantalone answers, " E l poeta nol sa i f a t t i m i i ; e da qua un anno e l vedera che l'ha dit o mal" (p. 253). By the l a s t scene of Argentina's comedy which coincides with the l a s t scene of La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , the young lovers have begun to change t h e i r approach to the play for a f t e r having refused to be involved any further, they a l l agree to act out the f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n scenes. As a further example of t h e i r l i t e r a l -mindedness, i t must be pointed out that i t i s not so much the acting out of t h e i r a l t e r ego which has the therapeutic value and which allows a l l the characters to come together i n marriage but the fa c t that they take l i t e r a l l y the out-of-character l i n e s of t h e i r respective lover. When Pantalone, persuaded by Argentina, asks the young people i f they are w i l l i n g to get married, they a l l give t h e i r consent with C l a r i c e admitting, "a me sono p i a c i u t e l e ultime parole d e l signor Fl o r i n d o " (p. 255), and Ottavio explaining, "Ed i o , trovando i n vostra f i g l i a i sentimenti d'una eroina, l a p r e f e r i s c o a cento dame che mi sospirano" (p. 253). . i S t i l l within the bounds of I s p r o p o s i t i , Argentina gives her hand i n marriage to Pantalone, Flaminia to Ottavio, and C l a r i c e to Florindo. There i s s t i l l some resistance from C l a r i c e and Pantalone who, continuing to b lur r e a l i t y with i l l u s i o n , protest the f i n a l couplings, though neither protests h i s and her own marriage. Argentina must once again remind them that they are speaking out of l i n e . Once the respective p a r t i e s have been - 114 -appropriately coupled, according to the ending i n I s p r o p o s i t i , Argentina i n s i s t s for the l a s t time on the difference between r e a l i t y and the play, saying, "Ecco, l a commedia e f i n i t a . Voi non s i e t e piu Anselmo, ora s i e t e i l signor Pantalone" (p. 255). Having allowed them to enact a happy ending, she now gives the young lovers and Pantalone a chance to make the i l l u s o r y ending a r e a l ending, and she asks Pantalone, "Un matrimonio che f a t t o avete con me per f i n z i o n e , v i vergognereste d i f a r l o con v e r i t a ? " (p. 255). Thus, whereas before she was c a r e f u l to keep the d i s t i n c t i o n between r e a l i t y and i l l u s i o n c l e a r , Argentina now does the reverse: what was play can become r e a l i t y . Pantalone has no d i f f i c u l t y i n going "dai f a l s o a l vero" (p. 255) with regard to h i s marrying Argentina, but when he hesitates to allow the young lovers the same prerogative, i t i s Argentina t h i s time who blurs the d i s t i n c t i o n between r e a l i t y and play, equating rather than reversing the two as L i s e t t e does: as there were three marriages i n I s p r o p o s i t i , there must be three marriages i n Pantalone's family or none. In each of the two plays, the comedy-within-the-comedy has i t s intended e f f e c t on the.characters of the main play: the young lovers come together i n marriage; Pantalone agrees to marry Argentina and i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d , Sganarelle loses h i s i n t e r e s t i n doctors. However, although i n the process Argentina and L i s e t t e are r i d i c u l i n g the r i g i d i t y of the alazons and enjoying themselves at t h e i r expense, the alazons never see themselves as r i d i c u l o u s . In Le malade imaginaire and La castalda, Toinette as well as C o r a l l i n a demonstrates her expertise not only i n concocting and organizing stratagems but also i n dissimulating, i n maintaining a mask i n front of those who e i t h e r pose a danger or can be of help to her. Toinette has - 115 -c o r r e c t l y understood Beline as being l i k e those women who, i n Angelique's words, "font du mariage un commerce de pur inter§t, qui ne se marient que pour gagner des douaires, que pour s ' e n r i c h i r par l a mort de ceux qu'elles epousent, et courent sans scruple de mari en mari, pour s'appropier leurs d e p o u i l l e s " (p. 427); Toinette knows that Beline i s sustaining Argan's obsession for u l t e r i o r motives and that she has no r e a l concern for h i s health. Toinette i s thus c a r e f u l to back a l l of Beline's opinions and ideas when i n her presence. And even when not i n her presence, i t must be noted that Toinette never c r i t i c i z e s Beline to Argan. Unlike Angelique and Beralde, she cannot r i s k to have her r e a l intentions known to Argan. When Angelique utt e r s the above quoted words to Beline, revealing that she i s aware of her game, Toinette keeps s i l e n t . When Beralde, near the end of Act I I I , warns Argan that he i s s a c r i f i c i n g h i s daughters i n order to please h i s conniving wife, Toinette pretends to defend Beline, "Ah! Monsieur, ne parlez point de Madame: c'est une femme sur l a q u e l l e i l n'y a r i e n a d i r e , une femme sans a r t i f i c e , et qui aime Monsieur" (p. 449). We know Toinette's words to be i r o n i c and so does Beralde, but Argan takes them l i t e r a l l y and Toinette i s able to convince Argan to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the l i t t l e stratagem that she has planned i n order to demonstrate to Beralde "comme Madame aime Monsieur" (p. 450) only because Argan thinks that Toinette's plan i s going to reveal Beline's loving nature. S i m i l a r l y , i n Ta r t u f f e , Orgon w i l l agree to Elmire's plan because he does not believe a l l that has been said about T a r t u f f e . In I, 6 Argan complains to Beline about Toinette's insolence. But when Beline asks her, "Pourquoi done est-ce que vous mettez mon mari en colere?" (p. 399), she pretends not to understand h i s reason for being angry and l i e s to Beline, " I I nous a d i t - 116 -q u ' i l v o u l a i t donner sa f i l l e en mariage au f i l s de Monsieur D i a f o i r u s ; je l u i a i repondu que je trouvais l e p a r t i avantageurx pour e l l e ; mais que je croyais q u ' i l f e r a i t mieux de l a mettre dans un couvent" (p. 399), knowing very well that t h i s i s what Beline wants and that Beline w i l l b elieve her before she w i l l give credence to one of her husband's many complaints. That Toinette f e e l s secure that Beline trusts her i s evidenced l a t e r i n the same scene when Toinette disregards Beline's warning, "Ecoutez, Toinette, s i vous fachez jamais mon mari, j e vous mettrai dehors" (p. 399), and continues to antagonize Argan, t h i s time by throwing pillows at him (always, however, behind Beline's back). At the end of Act I, Toinette explains to Angelique, "pour vous s e r v i r avec plus d ' e f f e t , j e veux changer de b a t t e r i e , couvrir l e zele que j ' a i pour vous, et feindre d'entrer dans les sentiments de votre pere et de votre belle-mere" (p. 403), but she has by t h i s time already demonstrated that she has won Beline's confidence. As a further proof of Toinette*s success i n i n g r a t i a t -ing h e r s e l f with Beline i s that Beline completely believes Toinette's recounting of Argan's 'death' and not only reveals to her i n front of Argan's 'body' her true sentiments: "Que tu es sotte, Toinette, de . : t ' a f f l i g e r de cette mort" (p. 450), but also asks her to keep Argan's death a secret for a l i t t l e while i n order that she may f i r s t help h e r s e l f to h i s cash. Although Beline has revealed h e r s e l f to be an able t r i c k s t e r i n that she s u c c e s s f u l l y manipulates Argan to do as she wishes to the point that he i s ready to repudiate h i s daughters, she proves not to be as clever as Toinette. Beline's greed, which i s her obsession, her charac-t e r i s t i c r i g i d i t y , blinds her into making the serious error of under-- 117 -estimating Toinette, of not thinking i t necessary to maintain a mask i n front of her. Toinette's s u p e r i o r i t y as t r i c k s t e r i s further underscored by comparing her to the young lovers, Angelique and Cleante, who also attempt to deceive Argan. Without Toinette's help, though he has her backing, Cleante organizes a stratagem of h i s own (a stratagem which has been repeated i n many comedies; one thinks i n p a r t i c u l a r of Le Barbier de  S e v i l l e ) and i s able to enter Argan's house disguised as a music teacher, s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r Angelique's tutor. Angelique reveals her ingenuity by quickly adjusting to the shock of seeing Cleante i n her house and adapting h e r s e l f on the spot to Cleante's ploy. They communicate t h e i r love f o r each other under the guise of a love song and as further demonstration of t h e i r astuteness, they improvise the words to the song. In a s i m i l a r manner to Clitandre and Lucinde i n L'Amour medecin, they are revealing t h e i r true f e e l i n g s f o r each other while the alazons think they are only performing. Argan, however, unlike Sganarelle, has h i s suspicions. Perhaps i f Cleante had pretended to be a doctor instead as Clitandre d i d , he would have had more luck. Indeed, when Toinette attends Argan disguised as a doctor, Argan i s completely fooled, even though t h i s doctor bears an uncanny resemblance to Toinette. Argan wishes to see the music sheets which Angelique and Cleante are holding and when he asks, "ou sont done les paroles que vous avez dites? II n'y a l a que de l a musique e c r i t e " (p. 424), Cleante i s quick-witted enough to respond, "Est-ce que vous ne savez pas, Monsieur, qu'on a trouve depuis peu 1'invention d' e c r i r e l e s paroles avec l e s notes memes?" (p. 424). Cleante and Angelique, however, are not c a r e f u l dissimulators. Angelique, unlike Toinette, cannot maintain - 118 -a mask i n f r o n t of B e l i n e and l e t s her know that she sees her f a l s e n e s s . B e l i n e thus doubles her e f f o r t s to be r i d of Angelique. Spying on them, she catches Cleante, who does not know enough to leave when he should, i n Angelique's room and d u t i f u l l y r e p o r t s back to Argan. T o i n e t t e knows that i t i s B e l i n e more than the doctors who c o n t r o l Argan. In d i s g u i s i n g h e r s e l f as a doctor, T o i n e t t e attacked only the uselessness of the medical p r o f e s s i o n . In order f o r the young people to marry, she must organize a stratagem which w i l l break, once and f o r a l l , B e l i n e ' s h o l d on Argan. T o i n e t t e ' s p l a n i s to have Argan p l a y dead. A f t e r having pretended a l l along to be s i c k , Argan s u r p r i s i n g l y f e a r s t h i s r o l e : "N'y a - t - i l quelque danger a c o n t r e f a i r e l e mort?" (p. 450), he asks T o i n e t t e , r e v e a l i n g a b l u r r i n g of r e a l i t y and I l l u s i o n which reminds us of L'Amour medecin and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e . Pretending to be dead i s too cl o s e f o r comfort f o r Argan. Toin e t t e ' s v i c t o r y over B e l i n e i s complete when, using the same method, she a l s o proves to Argan Angelique's love f o r him and Cleante's v i r t u e . The comedy ends on a t h e a t r i c a l note. Argan consents to Cleante marrying h i s daughter i f he promises to become a doctor, showing that although the young people have overcome h i s r e s i s t e n c e to t h e i r marriage, Argan has not r e l i n q u i s h e d h i s obsession w i t h doctors. Beralde t h e r e f o r e suggests that Argan hims e l f become a doctor. At Argan's p r o t e s t i n g that he i s too o l d to study, M o l i e r e , i n a f i n a l jab at the medical p r o f e s s i o n , has Beralde say, "En recevant l a robe et l e bonnet de medecin, yos apprendrez t o u t . . .et vous serez apres plus h a b i l e que vous ne voudrez" (p. 453). Argan's f i n a l deception i s to b e l i e v e that he has been accepted i n t o the f a c u l t y of medecine when ins t e a d he w i l l have been the butt of a f a r c i c a l ceremony organized by Beralde and a group of a c t o r s . - 119 -When Angelique expresses the fear that Beralde i s making fun of her father, Beralde assures her, "ce n'est pas tant l e jouer que s'aecommoder a ses f a n t a i s i e s " (p. 454). Beralde's accommodating of Argan 1s obsession i s of a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t nature than Beline's: under Beralde's d i r e c t i o n , Argan's obsession has become harmless, for i n having Argan believe that he i s doctor as well as patient, everything cancels out. Whereas Toinette dissimulates mainly i n front of Beline, C o r a l l i n a does so with a l l the characters for her plan i s much more ambitious. C o r a l l i n a ' s foremost t a c t i c s i s to be pleasant with everyone as w e l l as with her master, and thus win friends everywhere, "per tutto quello che potrebbe nascere" (p. 13). With regard to Rosaura, C o r a l l i n a has not needed to t r y very hard to win her trus t and a f f e c t i o n , for as C o r a l l i n a h e r s e l f admits, "Secondando io qualche sua i n c l i n a z i o n e , qualche suo amoretto, l'ho f a t t a mia" (p. 21), and as long as C o r a l l i n a helps her to marry Florindo, Rosaura i s ready to support anything C o r a l l i n a says and does, including approving of C o r a l l i n a ' s marriage to Pantalone. However, the other characters are not as f l e x i b l e as Rosaura and i n order to gain ground with them, C o r a l l i n a must reckon with Ottavio's pride, Frangiotto's jealousy, and Pantalone's avarice. But she demonstrates remarkable expertise i n manipulating each character, undermining or endorsing a character's obsession according to the s i t u a t i o n . In the same way that Toinette never c r i t i c i z e s Beline, C o r a l l i n a never rebukes any of the characters i n La castalda nor does she ever make i t known to any of them that she i s aware of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r r i g i d i t y or weakness, a f a c t o r which reveals that C o r a l l i n a and Toinette are aware of what i s e f f e c t i v e i n persuading as well as of t h e i r precarious p o s i t i o n i n the household. On - 120 -the contrary, neither Argentina nor L i s e t t e hesitates i n being c r i t i c a l , although Argentina often hides her c r i t i c i s m s behind jokes which usually go unperceived. In La castalda, Arlecchino, O t t a v i o f s v a l e t , i s hungry; C o r a l l i n a feeds him and i n t h i s way acquires information from Arlecchino regarding h i s master's s i t u a t i o n which C o r a l l i n a l a t e r uses to manipulate Ottavio. In I I , 5, Ottavio t r i e s to maintain the cover that he i s a great and wealthy man by c r i t i c i z i n g everything C o r a l l i n g o f f e r s him, although he i s famished. C o r a l l i n a , who has been enlightened by Arlecchino, goads Ottavio into explaining that i n h i s home hot chocolate i s made i n a cauldron 36 "quando l ' i n v i t o e grande" (p. 17). C o r a l l i n a , knowing that polenta, which i s a l l that i s usually eaten i n Ottavio's palazzo, and not chocolate, i s cooked i n h i s cauldron, adds mali c i o u s l y "e poi l a t a g l i a n i n f e t t e " (p. 17). C o r a l l i n a continues to give s i m i l a r smart answers to Ottavio, amusing h e r s e l f at h i s expense by taking advantage of h i s i n f l a t e d p r i d e . We see i n C o r a l l i n a the o r i g i n s of Mirandolina and Argentina whose ^ philosophy i n l i f e i s "Rider d i t u t t i , burlar quando posso" (Cameriera, p. 213). When Ottavio begins to suspect that C o r a l l i n a i s making fun of him, she quickly changes t a c t i c s , humbling h e r s e l f and playing up to h i s i l l u s o r y grandeur so that i n the end, Ottavio not only grants her h i s protection but promises her employment i n h i s household should she become d i s s a t i s f i e d i n Pantalone's service, s t i l l o b l i v i o u s to the f a c t that C o r a l l i n a knows f u l l w e ll how much she would lose i n changing masters. Shortly a f t e r her encounter with Ottavio, we see C o r a l l i n a ' s adeptness i n handling Frangiotto. To begin with she deceives him into thinking that she loves him and then arouses his. jealousy by t e l l i n g him, "procuro d i guadagnarmi l'amore e l a stima d i t u t t i q u e l l i che frequentano questa - 121 -casa" (p. 21). When Frangiotto suspects her of compromising her v i r t u e i n gaining the a f f e c t i o n of others, she accuses him of not loving her and i n the end, i t i s Frangiotto who must persuade C o r a l l i n a that he loves her. C o r a l l i n a also demonstrates that she i s j u s t as able to fend them o f f as she i s to draw them to her. A f t e r Pantalone has proposed to her, C o r a l l i n e r e a l i z e s that as the future mistress of h i s home, she no longer has to worry about winning many f r i e n d s , and that she can hence-f o r t h cease to be generous with everyone. "Cambiero s t i l e a f f a t t o . . .In questa casa g l i scrocconi non troveranno piu da f a r bene" (p. 51) she t e l l s h e r s e l f , and she demonstrates her new technique with Frangiotto and Ottavio. However, u n t i l Pantalone makes h i s proposal p u b l i c , she i s going to proceed with caution. Consequently, she handles Ottavio and Frangiotto i n such a way that should Pantalone go back on h i s word she could continue with them as before. She t e l l s Frangiotto that she no longer loves him but without explaining why and Frangiotto, beguiled and enticed by her enigmatic answers, believes she i s only pretending i n order to arouse h i s f e e l i n g s . C o r a l l i n a rather c r u e l l y leaves him i n t h i s b e l i e f , although she does f e e l some compassion for him. In t h i s way, i f she married Pantalone, neither Pantalone nor Frangiotto can accuse her of leading Frangiotto on for she h a s • e x p l i c i t l y t o l d him that she does not love him; i f , however, Pantalone changes h i s mind, she has l e f t enough unsaid that she could e a s i l y resume her r e l a t i o n s h i p with Frangiotto where she l e f t o f f and marry him. She has, thus, i n her treatment of Frangiotto l e f t h e r s e l f a way out. She does likewise with Ottavio and Arlecchino whom she sends away without dinner by inventing a deception. She had promised - 122 -them dinner early i n the play and succeeded i n getting Pantalone's permission to i n v i t e them before he surprised her with h i s proposal. But when i n I I I , 2, they present themselves, C o r a l l i n a t e l l s them that there i s going to be no dinner because the stove has caught on f i r e and a l l the food and u t e n s i l s have been burnt. Here too, C o r a l l i n a enjoys h e r s e l f ; "Ora vo g l i o dar gusto a questi due affamati" (p. 55), she says i n an aside, and she describes to them a l l the f i n e dishes that the cook had prepared before they a l l went up i n flames. C o r a l l i n a succeeds i n getting r i d of them for the time being, but depending on what l i e s ahead for her, she could without any d i f f i c u l t y continue to draw them and t h e i r l i k e to Pantalone's home. Neither Ottavio nor Frangiotto r e a l i z e how w e l l she has manipulated them. Although Pantalone i s miserly, she spends h i s money f r e e l y . When he complains for example, i n Act I, that the chocolate i s disappearing too quickly and asks, "E a t u t t i , c h i va e c h i vien, s'ha da dar l a cioccolata?!' (p. 23), C o r a l l i n a persuades him that i n doing so she i s only thinking of h i s good name, that she does not want him prejudiced i n the eyes of society, when i n r e a l i t y , i t i s part of her plan to o f f e r hot chocolate to whomever comes by the house i n order to win f r i e n d s . When she asks him, "Un uomo d e l l a vostra sorta, r i c c o , senza f i g l i u o l i , che ha una nipote che non ha bisogno d i v o i , che volete che d i c a i l mondo, se v i date a l i o sparagno, a l i a s p i l o r c e r i a ? " (p. 23), Pantalone cannot disagree with her. What C o r a l l i n a says i s i n fa c t true. By being generous with h i s goods, she has improved h i s image i n society; under her management, people are no longer speaking of Pantalone with l i t t l e respect. Later on i n the act, when Pantalone refuses to i n v i t e Ottavio to dinner, she - 123 -confidently overrules h i s r e f u s a l by appealing again to h i s reputation, saying, with some tru t h , "Eh v i a , signore; non date i n queste v i l t a . . . Vengano t u t t i ; i l signor Pantalone e g e n t i l e , e cortese, e a f f a b i l e , e generoso" (p. 30). An example of C o r a l l i n a ' s excellent judgement of character and her ingenuity i n meeting a s i t u a t i o n i s demonstrated i n I, 8. Here, by taking advantage of the fact that Pantalone has overheard her shouting at Frangiotto, C o r a l l i n a i s able to arouse and appease Pantalone's anger at w i l l . Pretending to be angry at Frangiotto, who leaves with Pantalone's a r r i v a l , for not following her orders, she succeeds i n s t i r r i n g Pantalone up against Frangiotto to the point that he wants to dismiss him immediately. Having gotten him angry, C o r a l l i n a turns around and calms him down, t e l l i n g him that she w i l l take care of d i s c i p l i n i n g Frangiotto because she does not want Pantalone's health to s u f f e r , thus apparently demonstrating that she i s concerned for h i s welfare as well as for h i s household. She has the audacity to say, "No, signor padrone, s i e t e troppo caldo; non v o g l i o che l a b i l e v i f a c c i a male" (p. 22), when she was the one to arouse h i s anger i n the f i r s t place and on a f a l s e pretence. Furthermore, she i s able to blame the f a c t that Pantalone was kept waiting for h i s hot chocolate, a f a i l i n g on her part, on Frangiotto. We f i n d i n La castalda another t r i c k s t e r f i g u r e i n the character of Beatrice, a young widow who i s a f r i e n d of Rosaura. When she comes to v i s i t i n I I , 1, Beatrice wants to have some .fun and play a t r i c k on the f o o l i s h but r i c h L e l i o who has accompanied her to Pantalone's house. She has Rosaura pretend to be C o r a l l i n a and C o r a l l i n a , Rosaura. Although she i s not amused by Beatrice's deception, C o r a l l i n a goes along with i t , but not before she has Beatrice promise that should anything a r i s e from i t , - 124 -she w i l l acquit her of any complicity. C o r a l l i n a does not l i k e i t when others do the deceiving i n Pantalone's house; she always wants:, to be i n . . control of a s i t u a t i o n . Moreover, she does not want to compromise h e r s e l f i n any pl o t s unless they are of her doing and for her ben e f i t . In the case of Beatrice's t r i c k , however, she i s l a t e r able to take advantage of i t and use i t against Beatrice when Beatrice turns out to be Co r a l l i n a ' s r i v a l . Beatrice, l i k e Beline i n Le malade imaginaire i s s o c i a l l y superior to the woman servant and poses a threat to her se c u r i t y . Although she does not seem as nasty as Beline, Beatrice i s also motivated by greed i n wanting to remarry. Beatrice reveals to C o r a l l i n a that she i s interested i n marrying Pantalone, i f he were to give her "una contradote" (p. 39). In d i r e c t contrast with Le malade imaginaire where Beline i s the one person with whom Toinette i s c a r e f u l to maintain a mask, C o r a l l i n a , who dissimulates i n front of everyone, never does so with Beatrice. C o r a l l i n a i s being t o t a l l y frank w h e n — s t i l l unaware that Pantalone i s interested i n making C o r a l l i n a h i s wife and no one e l s e — s h e refuses Beatrice's request f o r help i n marrying Pantalone and t e l l s her, "Se v o i s i e t e venuta qui per questo, maneggiatevi per a l t r a v i a . . . Gia i n questo mondo t u t t i pensano a l loro i n t e r e s s e " (p. 39). C o r a l l i n a l e t s Beatrice know that she i s not going to allow any woman to come into Pantalone's house and usurp her long-strived for power i n Pantalone's household without a f i g h t ; and she warns Beatrice that any woman with such intentions "l'avrebbe a fare con me" (p. 40). C o r a l l i n a acts r i g i d l y with Beatrice i n refusing to l i s t e n to her; t h i s causes Beatrice to become angry with C o r a l l i n a and to decide to win Pantalone i f only to spite her. Although C o r a l l i n a has dropped her mask before Beatrice and l e t her know where she - 125 -stands, C o r a l l i n a , the servant, reveals h e r s e l f to be superior to Beatrice i n dissimulation and charm. C o r a l l i n a , r e a l i z i n g her m i s t a k e — t h a t ,. Pantalone wants to marry her and no o t h e r — i n t e r r u p t s Beatrice's and . Pantalone's conversation i n I I I , 7 at a timely moment. Although Beatrice has been making some headway with Pantalone who i s f l a t t e r e d that a woman such as Beatrice, "una persona c i v i l e , una garbata vedova, una fresca donna (p. 62) - - t o quote C o r a l l i n a ' s own w o r d s — i s interested i n him, C o r a l l i n a succeeds i n turning the tables on Beatrice. In C o r a l l i n a ' s and Beatrice's vying for Pantalone, we see more of the servant-master contest, wherein Beatrice reveals h e r s e l f to be an alazon f i g u r e . Through marriage to Pantalone, C o r a l l i n a can expect to improve her p o s i t i o n i n l i f e and assure her future. Whereas her wanting to marry Pantalone i s for C o r a l l i n a a question of s u r v i v a l , Beatrice's only reason for marrying an old man i s , l i k e Beline's, greed. From the vantage point of her superior s o c i a l p o s i t i o n , Beatrice promotes h e r s e l f as a marriage candidate i n front of Pantalone by disparaging C o r a l l i n a for being a servant. "Bell'onore, per a l t r o , che v o i fareste a l i a vostra casa!" (p. 60), she admonishes Pantalone for wanting to marry C o r a l l i n a ; and she advises him to marry a widow, "basta che l a vedova s i a una donna c i v i l e , e non s i a una servaccia" (p. 61). C o r a l l i n a , knowing very well that her i n f e r i o r p o s i t i o n puts her at a disadvantage, does not defend h e r s e l f and attack Beatrice. Rather she reverses her normal procedure of dissimulation and responds by being completely honest with Beatrice and Pantalone which turns out to be a b r i l l i a n t plan on her part. Both Celimene i n Le ... Misanthrope and Mirandolina w i l l r e s o r t , with s i m i l a r success, to t h i s same type of strategy. C o r a l l i n a admits Beatrice's s u p e r i o r i t y and under-- 126 -mines h e r s e l f . When Beatrice goads, her about being jealous of her authority i n Pantalone's household, C o r a l l i n a answers t r u t h f u l l y , "Penso a l mio stato, penso a l mio interesse, e son compatiblie, se temo d i perdere l a mia fortuna" (p. 62). C o r a l l i n a t e l l s Pantalone that she wishes to spare him the trouble of dismissing her by resigning now for i f he i s to marry Beatrice, C o r a l l i n a would be the f i r s t to go. C o r a l l i n a i s being r e a l i s t i c . In the same way that Beline would never put up with Toinette should Toinette's true l o y a l t y be discovered, Beatrice, as Pantalone's wife, would soon be r i d of C o r a l l i n a since Beatrice i s already f a m i l i a r with C o r a l l i n a ' s i n t e n t i o n s . C o r a l l i n a succeeds i n t o t a l l y confusing Pantalone who does not want to hear C o r a l l i n a speak of going away or of l o s i n g her fortune. At Pantalone's h e s i t a t i o n to announce h i s love f o r her to Beatrice, C o r a l l i n a breaks into tears and accomplishes her tour de force. In a very a r t f u l speech, she t e l l s Pantalone that she i s g r a t e f u l for h i s kindness and bears him no grudges while reminding him of a l l that she has done for him. She even begs him to forgive her for having had the audacity to think h e r s e l f loved by him. What i s wonderful about C o r a l l i n a ' s speech i s that i t i s a l l true; i t could e a s i l y be played s t r a i g h t for Goldoni gives no other i n s t r u c t i o n s except that C o r a l l i n a i s crying. We see, however, that C o r a l l i n a has c a r e f u l l y planned what she had to say for even i f Pantalone were to renege on h i s promise of marriage, he could not a f t e r what she has said allow her to be dismissed without providing for her. Beatrice i s not b l i n d to C o r a l l i n a ' s s k i l l and her superior prowess, as she mutters to h e r s e l f , "Che maledetta arte ha c o s t e i ! " (p. 63). C o r a l l i n a further alienates Pantalone from Beatrice by turning Beatrice's former t r i c k on L e l i o against her and making i t appear as i f - 127 -Beatrice had planned behind Pantalone's back to marry o f f C o r a l l i n a to L e l i o , thereby arousing Pantalone's jealousy. A comparison between Le malade imaginaire and La castalda would not be complete without mentioning the resemblance between Beline and C o r a l l i n a . Like Beline, C o r a l l i n a has her eyes on an old man's fortune. But whereas Beline i s t r y i n g to acquire Argan's fortune by usurping h i s daughters—Argan has a younger daughter as w e l l — C o r a l l i n a i s not standing i n the way of h i s h e i r s . His niece, Rosaura, has already been well pro-vided for by her family. Beline supports Argan's obsession i n order to win h i s complete trust and i n the l i k e l i h o o d that one of the doctors' many cures w i l l k i l l him sooner than expected. C o r a l l i n a , on the other hand, i n contending with Pantalone's avarice, may have, helped h e r s e l f , "dispensando l e grazie del padrone, senza da l u i dipendere, e facendo[siJ merito c o l l a roba sua" (p. 21), but she has also improved h i s image i n society and administered with competence h i s household. When she ques-tions Pantalone, "Par a v o i che i o non sappia d i r i g e r e una casa? spendere con ragione? risparmiar con decoro?" (p. 50), he o f f e r s no objections but answers that he t r u s t s her. Beline, however, has only made Argan look worse i n the eyes of h i s household and society by playing up to h i s obsession as well as increasing h i s expenditures. Whereas Beline has succeeded i n making h e r s e l f disagreeable to everyone except the doctors and Argan, C o r a l l i n a i s sought a f t e r and loved by a l l . The differ e n c e between C o r a l l i n a ' s and B e l i n e 1 s technique i s best summed up by C o r a l l i n a when she describes h e r s e l f i n a monologue, "Vero e, che per avanzare tutto per me, dovrei f ar tener d i mano a l padrone, ma se f a c e s s i c o s i , mi renderei odiosa e sospetta a tutto i l resto del mondo. Vo' far i l mio - 128 -interesse con buona grazia; non voglio essere d i quelle castalde che vogliono tutto per l o r o , ma d i quelle p i u accorte, che sanno pelar l a quaglia senza f a r l a s t r i l l a r e " (p. 31). Beatrice c r i t i c i z e s Rosaura's approval of Pantalone's marriage to C o r a l l i n a by saying, "Ora, signora Rosaura durerete f a t i c a a trovar marito" (p. 66), but unlike i n Le malade  imaginaire where Beatrice's p r e d i c t i o n i s r e a l i z e d by Beline who does everything i n her power not only to prevent Angelique from marrying Cleante but from marrying at a l l , C o r a l l i n a ' s f i r s t function as Pantalone's wife i s to arrange for Rosuara to marry her beloved Florindo. C o r a l l i n a ' s graciousness i n handling people i s extended to Beatrice as she asks her to forgive and understand because she, too, though a servant, has a r i g h t to happiness. She promises to look a f t e r Pantalone with the utmost care, so that Pantalone "non s i penta d'aver onorato c o l l a sua mano l a sua Castalda" (p. 67). Even though we know that C o r a l l i n a w i l l be able to manipulate Pantalone as she wishes, she w i l l do i t , as she has shown throughout the comedy, without Pantalone even r e a l i z i n g i t . Unlike Argan, we believe that Pantalone w i l l never have reason to repent having remarried. As we have seen, the servant-master contest i n these four plays i s modified. In L'Amour medecin and i n Le malade imaginaire, the t r a d i -t i o n a l eiron-alazon contest i s supplemented by a health-sickness opposition and i n La castalda and La cameriera b r i l l a n t e , by C o r a l l i n a ' s and Argentina's desire to marry t h e i r masters. But i n a l l four comedies, the woman servant i s the l i n k between the two contests for she functions i n both as an eiron f i g u r e . As a woman, the servant f i g u r e i n these comedies should also bring into play an opposition between women and men, which i s - 129 -yet another v a r i a t i o n of the eiron-alazon contest. But t h i s contest between women and men i s only i m p l i c i t here. L i s e t t e i s as s t y l i z e d as Ma s c a r i l l e and Scapin, and Toinette has to contend more with another woman than with Argan. In Goldoni's plays, the emerging of C o r a l l i n a and Argentina as p o s i t i v e heroines may very well reveal the re-evaluation of women and t h e i r increased s o c i a l f l e x i b i l i t y i n eighteenth century Venice where, influenced no doubt by the age of enlightment, " i p e r i o d i c i non lesinano a r t i c o l i d i pronunciata adesione a l nuovo ruolo d e l l a donna n e l l a 37 moderna societa c i v i l e . " But C o r a l l i n a and Argentina represent "un p a r t i c o l a r e tipo d i creature femminile che potremmo d e f i n i r e 'ascendente' o 'emergente': n el senso che r e a l i z z a appieno l a propria personality nell'emergere r i s p e t t o a i componenti del proprio gruppo s o c i a l e o, ancor 38 piu audacemente, nell'ascendere d a l l a propria classe ad una superiore." They are thus servants who triumph as members of an i n f e r i o r class rather than as women. The analysis of La locandiera i n the next chapter, which i s dedicated to the contest between women and men i n Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies, w i l l reveal t h i s d i f f e r e n c e . - 130 -NOTES '''Frye, p. 174. 2 Mongredien, N o t i c e , Les Fourberies de Scapin, p. 219. 3 Mongredien, N o t i c e , L ' E t o u r d i , p. 51. 4 Mongredien, N o t i c e , Les Fourberies de Scapin, p. 219. Bonino, I n t r o d u c t i o n , Commedie, p. XVI R i e d t , p. 19. Loc. c i t . g Bonino, I n t r o d u c t i o n , Commedie, p. XXI: 9 N i c o l a Mangini, I n t r o d u c t i o n , Commedie de Carlo G o l d o n i , V o l . 1, ed. N i c o l a Mangini (Torino: Unione T i p o g r a f i c o - E d i t r i c e Torinese, 1971), p. 17. ^ L u d o v i c o A r i o s t o , La Lena, i n Commedie, V o l . 4, eds. Angela C a s e l l a , G a b r i e l l a Ronchi, Elena V a r a s i (Verona: Mondadori, 1974), vy. 583-86, 589-93. ^ G o l d o n i , I I s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, i n Commedie, Vol, 1, ed. Bonino (Milano: G a r z a n t i , 1976), p. 18. 12 Goldoni, Preface to I I s e r v i t o r e d i due padroni, i n Commedie, V o l . 1, ed. Bonino, p. 4. 13 T Loc. c i t . 14 T Loc. c i t . ^ K n u t s o n , p. 33. ^ H u b e r t , pp. 2-3. 17 Knutson, p. 31. - 131 -18 Ga b r l e l e N i c c o l i , " L i g u r i o , un r e g i s t a t r a l e q u i n t e , " P i a n e t a uomoT 4 (1982), 8. 19 James Gaines, " S o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s i n M o l i e r e ' s Theater," Manuscript to be published by Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , p. 15. ^ F r y e , p. 164. 21 Beaumarchais, Preface to Le Mariage de F i g a r o , ed. Jacques Scherer ( P a r i s : Societe d ' e d i t i o n d'enseignement s u p e r i e u r , 1966), p. 23. 22 Another s i m i l a r i t y between the two M o l i e r e p l a y s i s that they are both comedy-ballets; however, since the b a l l e t i n t e r m i s s i o n s do not advance or complicate the p l o t , t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i l l not be concerned w i t h them. 23 Bergson, p. 11. 24 Bergson, p. 136. Loc. ext. 26 Mongredien, N o t i c e , L'Amour medecin, p. 411. 27 Mongredien, N o t i c e , Le malade i m a g i n a i r e , p. 376. 28 I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Goldoni has w r i t t e n a comedy, La f i n t a ammalata, whose t i t l e i s very s i m i l a r to Le malade imaginaire and whose source Goldoni admits to being L'Amour medecin, but where, contrary to M o l i e r e , Goldoni opposes a good and wise doctor to ignorant and i n e f f e c t u a l ones. I t i s to the c r e d i t of the good doctor i n Goldoni's comedy that he can not only d i f f e r e n t i a t e between r e a l and pretended sickness but a l s o recognize love " s i c k n e s s " when he sees i t . Needless to say, Goldoni's comedy remains i n f e r i o r to M o l i e r e 1 s b i t i n g s a t i r e s . 29 Goldoni, La c a s t a l d a , i n Tutte l e opere, V o l . 4, ed. O r t o l a n i , 3rd ed. (1940; r p t . Verona: Mondadori, 1955), p. 19. 30 Goldoni, La cameriera. b r i l l a n t e , i n Tutte l e opera, V o l . 5, ed. O r t o l a n i , 3rd ed. (1941; r p t . Verona: Mondadori, 1959), p. 192. 31 O r t o l a n i , ed., Tutte l e opere d i Carlo Goldoni, V o l . 4, p. 1083. - 132 -32 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XXXIII. 33 Frye, p. 172. 34 Loc. c i t . 35 Through the characters' r e f u s a l to hold to t h e i r l i n e s , Goldoni i s also commenting on the commedia d e l l ' a r t e actors who hereto-fore s t i l l i n s i s t e d on improvising and r e s i s t e d learning written parts, for Argentina explains to B r i g h e l l a , who thinks that the young lovers are doing a bad job of acting because they are not suited for t h e i r parts, "ma questo non succederebbe, se i rappresentanti fossero comici, e fossero i n un teatro, dove sogliono d i r tutto cio che viene loro assegnato" (pp. 250-1). Argentina describes I s p r o p o s i t i as "una p i c c o l a commediola studiata. . .t u t t a c a r a t t e r i " (p. 241), and though i t i s written by "una persona che non vuol essere nominata" (p. 241), we know that the author i s none other than Goldoni himself. I s p r o p o s i t i i s , a f t e r a l l , another r e n d i t i o n of La cameriera b r i l l a n t e . 36 A r u s t i c dish eaten i n northern I t a l y , i t i s a type of thick porridge made from cornmeal which i s usually allowed to set and then served s l i c e d . Polenta was u n t i l recently an important staple and even a bread substitute i n c e r t a i n parts of I t a l y . 37 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XXXII. 38 Loc. c i t . - 133 -CHAPTER THREE "ARTE, ARTE SOPRAFFINA": THE WOMAN-MAN CONTEST The contest between women and men i s i m p l i c i t not only i n the comedies which feature women servants as t r i c k s t e r s but also i n such comedies as L'Ecole des maris, L'Ecole des femmes, and Un curioso accidente where the young woman takes the i n i t i a t i v e against a t y r a n n i c a l father f i g u r e . This contest i s , however, e x p l i c i t l y r e f e r r e d to i n I I se r v i t o r e d i due padroni and i t i s Smeraldina who brings i t to our attent i o n . When S i l v i o accuses women of being d e c e i t f u l and u n f a i t h f u l , Smeraldina defends her sex by turning the accusation around, saying that men are worse than women for " l e donne hanno l a fama d i essere i n f e d e l i , [ma] g l i uomini commettono l e i n f e d e l t a a piu non posso" (p. 45). Smeraldina explains that " d e l l e donne s i p a r l a , e d e g l i uomini non s i dice n u l l a . . .Perche l e l e g g i l e hanno f a t t e g l i uomini; che se l e avessero f a t t e l e donne, s i sentirebbe tutto i l c o n t r a r i o " (p. 45). Smeraldina's argument i s that of modern feminists,: i t i s men who make the laws, who write the books; power i s i n t h e i r hands and women are consequently subordinate to them. - 134 -A l l women are included i n Smeraldina's a n a l y s i s , be they daughters, wives, or s e r v a n t - g i r l s f o r unlike young men who can, with time, expect to be heads of f a m i l i e s , a l l women are always subservient to and dependent on men. It i s therefore no coincidence i f i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, blocking figures are f o r the most part fathers and husbands. This i s c e r t a i n l y the case i n Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies.''' We have already encountered female t r i c k s t e r s i n the figure of the young amoureuse and of the servant-g i r l . In t h i s chapter, we w i l l study comedies where the main t r i c k s t e r i s again a woman but t h i s time she i s eith e r a wife and therefore mistress of a household as i n Tart u f f e , I rusteghi, and Sior Todero  brontolon or a woman who enjoys f i n a n c i a l independence as i n Le Misanthrope and La locandiera. I t i s thus i n the comedies which are representative of Moliere's and Goldoni's greatest works that we f i n d the eiron-alazon contest expressed i n terms of women versus men. There i s a close p a r a l l e l between servants and married women, even when they are well-born: l i k e a servant, a wife must answer to a master: her husband. As with servants, the choices, freedoms, and expectations of married women are severely l i m i t e d . In order to r e l i e v e t h e i r oppressed state, to t r y and achieve a better l i f e , i t i s true for both servants and wives that g u i l e and dissimu-l a t i o n are often the only recourses a v a i l a b l e to them. It i s therefore not s u r p r i s i n g that wives i n t r a d i t i o n a l comedy should j o i n forces with the young lovers against t h e i r husbands, showing that they too are dedicated to the cause of love and freedom. Servant figures from the „ comedies of Menander down can rest easy i f t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e i n comedy has been taken over by wives. The l i k e s of Elmire, F e l i c e , and Marcolina reveal themselves to be expert t r i c k s t e r s , very capable of - 135 -helping to bring about the young people's happiness. I rusteghi, written i n 1760, i s the f i r s t of a series of comedies which culminates with Le baruffe chiozzotte and which represents Goldoni's 2 boldest and most mature comedies. Like most of the comedies i n t h i s group, I rusteghi i s written e n t i r e l y i n Venetian d i a l e c t . The t i t l e of the play i s i t s e l f a d i a l e c t word whose meaning Goldoni thought necessary to explain i n h i s preface to the play for i t d i f f e r s from the word r u s t i c o , i t s I t a l i a n counterpart. "Noi intendiamo i n Venezia per uomo Rustego," writes Goldoni, "un uomo aspro, z o t i c o , nemico d e l l a c i v i l t a , 3 d e l l a c u l t u r a , e d e l conversare," a d e f i n i t i o n which approaches that of our word boor which i s how the comedy's t i t l e i s translated i n English. The t i t l e i t s e l f leaves l i t t l e doubt about who are the alazons i n t h i s comedy. The merchants, Lunardo, Simon, Maurizio, and Canciano form a c l o s e - k n i t quartet i n which they complement each other p e r f e c t l y . Gasparo Gozzi, although brother to Carlo Gozzi, Goldoni's most vociferous enemy, was an avid admirer of Goldoni's comedies and he had t h i s to say about the boors: " N e l l a . . .commedia quattro sono c a r a t t e r i z z a t i R u s t i c i , onde l e s i t u a z i o n i nascono e germogliano da se facilemente; ed un medesimo carattere compartito i n quattro uomini, ha quattro gradi e quattro a s p e t t i d i v e r s i che non v i o l e n t a t i s i affacciano a g l i u d i t o r i con v a r i e t a 4 piu grata." The boors share the same views on the world, p a r t i c u l a r l y with regard to money, family l i f e , and society, and they react with extreme r i g i d i t y and narrow-mindedness to whatever does not conform to t h e i r prejudices. Over-confident, they never question t h e i r motives or methods: they always know what i s best not only for themselves but also for t h e i r wives, sons, and daughters, and consider the s l i g h t e s t disagree-- 136 -merit or opposition as a d i r e c t challenge to t h e i r authority. "Son paron mi," "Commando mi," they assert repeatedly. They have an unwavering b e l i e f i n t h e i r s u p e r i o r i t y over the rest of society i n handling money, tre a t i n g t h e i r wives, and r a i s i n g c h i l d r e n . They are d i s t r u s t f u l of a l l s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s unless they are business ones; only when at home or at t h e i r business o f f i c e (mezza) do they f e e l happy. As a consequence, t h e i r wives and daughters are not free to frequent the places where c i v i l i z e d society m i n g l e s — t h e a t r e , promenades, dances. For t h e i r women, the home i s l i t e r a l l y a prison, since they are not even permitted to v i s i t the o f f i c e . The .notion of the woman, daughter or wife, as prisoner i n her own home r e c a l l s Moliere's L'Ecole des maris and L'Ecole des femmes. In f a c t , the t i t l e of Wolf-Ferrari's Die Vier Grobiane, an opera buffa based on I rusteghi i s translated i n English as The School f o r Fathers. The : . following dialogue between Lunardo and Simon found i n I I , 5, demonstrates how c l o s e l y they resemble Sganarelle and Arnolphe i n t h e i r treatment of women. Lunardo and Simon have j u s t admitted that they l i k e women but with the following stipulations':! Lunardo: Ma i n casa. Simon: E s o l i . Lunardo:! E co l e porte serae. Simon: E co i balconi i n c h i o d a i . Lunardo: E t e g n i r l e basse. Simoni: . E f a r l e f ar a nostro modo.5 And we can wonder along with L i s e t t e i n L'Ecole des maris, "Sommes-nous chez l e s Turcs pour renfermer l e s femmes" (v. 144)? In.imposing his. authority, Lunardo hardly d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between wife- and daughter. His wife, Margarita, however, i n s i s t s on making a d i s t i n c t i o n f o r she believes that as a married woman, she i s e n t i t l e d to c e r t a i n p r i v i l e g e s . " E l a xe - 137 -puta, e mi son maridada" (p. 618), she t e l l s Lunardo but he rebuts her by saying, "Le maridae ha da dar bon esempio a l e pute" (p. 618). Although i n L'Ecole des maris and L'Ecole des femmes, Isabelle and Agnes are daughter figures and not wives, these plays deal with the treatment of wives as w e l l as daughters for Sganarelle and Arnolphe make i t very c l e a r that would allow t h e i r future wives no more freedom than they had as t h e i r wards. As the t i t l e s themselves i n d i c a t e , Isabelles's and Agnes's upbringing i s a preparation, an apprenticeship for the r o l e of wife. Thus, i n these two comedies, the eiron i s e s s e n t i a l l y both daughter and wife; the alazon, both father and husband, and the two eiron-alazon contests of youth versus age and wife versus husband are here one and the same, a fac t which i s not without incestuous implications and which accounts for part of the audience's d i s t a s t e f or Sganarelle and Arnolphe who, i n r a i s i n g a g i r l from childhood to womanhood, have the presumption to take her as t h e i r wife a f t e r having acted as her father. Along with keeping t h e i r women locked up at home, the boors, l i k e Arnolphe and Sganarelle, expect them to spend t h e i r time i n s e r v i l e a c t i v i t i e s , even though they can well afford servants. Sganarelle wants that I s a b e l l e "enfermee au l o g i s , en personne bien sage/ . . is'applique toute aux chose du menage,/A recoudre mon li n g e aux heures de l o i s i r , / O u bien a t r i c o t e r quelques bas par p l a i s i r " (vv. 119-22). Arnolphe prepares Agnes for marriage by t e l l i n g her that "A d'austeres devoirs l e rang de femme engage" (v. 696). In I rusteghi, Lunardo has put t h e i r very words into p r a c t i c e . The play opens with Lunardo's wife, Margarita, and h i s daughter, L u c i e t t a , k n i t t i n g . As they work, they complain about having to stay.home a l l the time, an imprisonment which i s e s p e c i a l l y hard to bear - 138 -now that i t i s c a r n i v a l time. But they must not l e t t h e i r conversation d i s t r a c t them from t h e i r work. Even as Margarita hints that Lunardo has chosen a husband for L u c i e t t a , a subject of no l i t t l e i n t e r e s t to the g i r l , she admonishes L u c i e t t a , "Animo laore, l'aveu gnancora f e n i a quela calza?. . .Se e l vi e n a casa elo, e che l a calza no s i a f e n i a , e l d i r a che se stada su per i b a l c o n i " (p. 589). Indeed, when Lunardo makes h i s entrance a few l i n e s l a t e r , he does not even greet h i s wife and daughter i n order not to interrupt t h e i r work. When Margarita reproaches him, " S i o r i a . No se saludemo gnanca?" (p. 591), he answers, "Laore, laore. Per farme un complimento t r a l a s s e de l a o r a r ? " (p. 591). In the same manner as Sganarelle and Arnolphe, the boors r u l e t h e i r women with regard to t h e i r clothes as w e l l . They abhor fashion and want t h e i r wives and daughters to go dressed as simple as possi b l e . When Lunardo discusses Lucietta's dowry with Maurizio, her future father-in-law, Maurizio t e l l s him, "No ste a spender i n a b i t i , che no voggio. . .In casa mia no voggio sea. F i n che son vivo mi, l'ha da andar co l a vesta de lana e no v o i ne t a b a r i n i , ne s c u f f i e , ne c e r c h i , ne toppe, ne c a r t o l i n e s u l fronte" (pp. 547-8). Later, Lunardo has a row with Margarita and. L u c i e t t a because of t h e i r dress. Margarita i s i n andrie and cascate as b e f i t t i n g a married woman of her status who i s to receive guests, for Goldoni i n s t r u c t s us that she i s " v e s t i t a con pr o p r i e t a " (p. 613). L u c i e t t a , although she i s wearing a simple dress, has removed her apron and enhanced her o u t f i t with "un per de cascate. . . jV) una colana de p e r l e " (p. 614) which she had pleaded with Margarita to lend her i n order that she too may "comparlr co f a l e a l t r e " (p. 614). Margarita obliges her stepdaughter despite Lucietta's claims that i t i s only a half-hearted attempt. In any case, Lunardo soon - 139 -puts a stop to Lucietta's fancies by making her remove "quei d i a v o l e z z i . . . quei sporchezzi" (p. 618). Lunardo's contempt for f i n e clothes extends to his wife as well f o r he orders her, "andeve subito a despoggiar" (p. 618). When shortly a f t e r Simon a r r i v e s with h i s wife, Marina, Lunardo complains i n t h e i r presence that Margarita i s overdressed and expresses h i s anger at her r e f u s a l to change, to which Simon adds h i s say, "Anca mi ho combatu do ore co sta mata. La s'ha volesto v e s t i r a so modo"(p. 621). He then t e l l s Marina to go home and change into her cotus, thereby revealing the r i d i c u l o u s lengths which the rusteghi w i l l go to i n r e s t r a i n -ing fashion, for Goldoni explains i n a footnote that a cotus i s "un abito a s s a l succinto, che s i usava m o l t i anni prima" (p. 621). We r e c a l l Sganarelle's and Arnolphe's hatred for f i n e clothes. Sganarelle expects that "d'une serge honnete j l s a b e l l e ] a i t son vetement,/Et ne porte l e noir qu'aux bons jours seulement" (w. 117-8), and one of Arnolphe's maximes stresses that a wife "ne se doi t parer/Qu'autant que peut desirer/Le mari qui l a possede" (v. 754). Though Sganarelle, Arnolphe, and the rusteghi have the same ideas on how to treat t h e i r wives and r a i s e daughters, t h e i r motives d i f f e r . Both Sganarelle and Arnolphe are obsessed with the idea of cuckoldry and i f they refuse to allow Isabelle and Agnes any freedom, i t i s because of t h i s fear. Sganarelle and Arnolphe reason along these l i n e s : Let women be i d l e , and they w i l l think of more amusing ways to pass the time; permit them to adorn themselves and they w i l l seek to a t t r a c t the atten-t i o n of other men; give them the freedom to frequent ','les b e l l e s compagnies,/Les divertissements, l e s ba l s , l e s comedies" (Maris, v. 187), and you w i l l no longer be able to save "jyotrej front de maligne influence" - 140 -(Femmes, v. 80). The underlying assumption i n t h e i r reasoning i s that women are e s s e n t i a l l y immoral and treacherous and consequently must be s t r i c t l y governed. The rusteghi, however, are not misogynists; they do not want t h e i r women to p a r t i c i p a t e i n s o c i a l functions not so much because they w i l l compromise t h e i r v i r t u e but rather because they w i l l neglect t h e i r work and waste money. Instead of immoral creatures, they consider women to be undi s c i p l i n e d ; that i s , i f women had t h e i r way, they would never chose to work. For t h i s reason, they see l i b e r t y as a corrupting force. When Lunardo and Simon c r i t i c i z e the spendthrift ways of modern youth, they blame mothers for r a i s i n g t h e i r c h i l d r e n with too much freedom. Lunardo caricatures an example of such a mother: Sior s i ; c u s s i l e dise; Pover putelo! che e l se deverta, jpovereto! voleu che e l mora da malinconia? Co vien zente, l e l o chiama: Vien qua, f i o mio; l a varda, s i o r a Lugrezia, ste care r a i s e , no f a l o voggia? Se l a savesse co s p i r i t o s o che e l xe! Canteghe quela canzoneta: dighe quela bela scena de T r u f f a l d i n . No digo per d i r , me e l sa far d i tuto: e l bala, e l zoga a l e carte, e l f a dei soneti; e l gh'ha l a morosa, sala? E l d i s e , che e l se v o l maridar. E l xe un poco insolente, ma pazenzia, e l xe ancora putelo, e l far a g i u d i z i o , Caro colu; vien qua, v i t a mia; daghe un baso a s i o r a Lugrezia. . . (pp- 624-5) Despite Lunardo's scorn, we see only a mother's delight i n her c h i l d , and t h i s p o r t r a i t convinces us more of Lunardo's paranoia than of her indulgence, e s p e c i a l l y since we know how t y r a n n i c a l l y Lunardo and Maurizio have brought up t h e i r c h i l d r e n . In the scene where they discuss Lucietta's dowry, Lunardo praises h i s daughter, "La mia puta sa far de tuto. In casa ho volesto che l a faza de tuto. Fina lavar i p i a t i " (p. 599), and Maurizio l i s t s the merits of his son, F e l i p p e t t o , "Anca mio f i o xe una p e r l a . No gh'e p e r i c o l o che e l buta v i a un bagatin. . .E a mio f i o , perche no voggio che co l e serve e l se ne impazza, gh'ho insegna a t i r a r suso i busi de l e - 141 -cal z e , e meter i f o n d e l i a l e braghesse" (p. 599). It must be remembered that they are wealthy men; Maurizio himself says to Lunardo, "Ghe xe pochi, che gh'abbia dei bezzi come che gh'avemo nu" (p. 599), but the only q u a l i t i e s which they consider praiseworthy i n t h e i r c h i l d r e n are those of industry and t h r i f t . Thus, for the rusteghi idleness i s dangerous not so much because pleasure-seeking a c t i v i t i e s would replace work but because that would mean a lessening of work and an increase i n expenditures. They think of s o c i a l events only as an inducement to spend money needlessly, which i s also why they are i n t o l e r a n t of fashion. Although Sganarelle and Arnolphe w i l l not allow t h e i r wards to p a r t i c i p a t e i n s o c i a l events, they do not, unlike the rusteghi, decry them as useless a c t i v i t i e s , of no possible enjoyment to anyone. Indeed, i t i s one of Arnolphe's chief pleasures to observe society for he considers i t one great comedy. Before he knows what Horace's intent i s , Arnolphe greets the young man warmly and generously lends him the money he needs. Arnolphe does not think l e s s of Horace for h i s being a society man, a galant "de t a i l l e a f a i r e des cocus" (v. 302). Likewise, Sganarelle "trouve [valere] honnete homme" (v. 610). The rusteghi, however, make i t clea r that they hold s o c i a l functions i n abhorrence. Moreover, Felippetto i s no more free to attend the theatre or a dance than L u c i e t t a i s . The rusteghi resent even v i s i t s among family and friends because they do not want to f e e l obligated to anyone and they do not want anyone to owe them anything. One of t h e i r main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , which i s also a perpetual source of d i s t r e s s for t h e i r wives, i s t h e i r t o t a l lack of c i v i l i t y . But there i s a purpose to t h e i r rudeness: they do not want anyone to know " i f a t i [ l o r o ] " (p. 599); i f t h e i r manners are g r u f f , other people are more l i k e l y to mind t h e i r own business. Moreover, being - 142 -p o l i t e i s a gratuitous action, and they see no value i n any s o c i a l i n t e r -action that does not e n t a i l a p r o f i t . Their only enjoyment i s i n seeing t h e i r money accumulate and t h e i r p r o f i t s r i s e . In the conversation between Lunardo and Simon i n I I , 5, we are able to gather that the two men were b i t t e n e arly i n t h e i r youth by the money-making bug. When as a c h i l d he was asked to choose between going to a puppet show or being given money instead, Lunardo says, "Mi me taccava a i do s o l d i " (p. 624). And Simon r e c a l l s the sensation he f e l t the f i r s t time he earned i n t e r e s t on his money; "gh'ho," he t e l l s Lunardo, "un gusto c u s s l grando, che no ve posso f e n i r de d i r " (p. 624). Like Plautus 1 and Moliere's misers, the rusteghi derive no pleasure i n spending money. But whereas Eu c l i o and Harpagon prefer to store t h e i r money i n a portable chest so that they can contemplate and fondle and count t h e i r pieces of gold to t h e i r heart's content, Goldoni's eighteenth century c a p i t a l i s t s are eager to invest t h e i r money i n order to reap the i n t e r e s t . When Lunardo asks Muarizio how he wants Lucietta's dowry to be paid out, Maurizio answers, "I bezzi mi no l i voggio. 0 zireme un c a p i t a l de zecca; o i n v e s t i m o l i meggio che se p o l " (p. 597). This difference i n the use of money indicates the d i f f e r e n t economic base e x i s t i n g i n seventeenth century P a r i s , l e t alone ancient Rome, and eighteenth century Venice. In arranging Lucietta's and Felippetto's marriage, not only are Lunardo and Maurizio without the least consideration for the young people's f e e l i n g s but they also treat them as property or goods with which to bargain or trade. For Lunardo and Maurizio, t h e i r children's marriage i s j u s t another business transaction; they l i s t Lucietta's and Felippetto's merits as i f they were dealing with merchandise and wanted to increase i t s - 143 -value. Lunardo's reason for keeping h i s daughter e n t i r e l y separated from society i s also due to h i s considering her as one of h i s possessions. As a reputable merchant, he must stand by h i s goods. According to Lunardo and h i s fellow rusteghi, a young g i r l who i s seen i n society represents s o i l e d goods. When Lunardo t e l l s h i s wife, "mia f i a no v o i che nissun possa d i r d'averla v i s t a , e quel che l a vede, l'ha da sposar" (p. 596). "Voi poder d i r , co l a marido: t o l e , s i o r , ve l a dago. . .che no l a s'ha mai messo maschera s u l v i s o ; che no l a xe mai stada a un t e a t r o " (p. 594), he reveals h i s mercantile i n t e r e s t s : i t i s i n dealing with top-quality merchandise that a merchant maintains h i s reputations and increases h i s business. Like a l l blocking f i g u r e s , the boors are characterized by a lack of self-knowledge. In the f i r s t place, they render themselves r i d i c u l o u s i n denying that they are these salvadeghi, these rusteghi, these t a r t a r i t h e i r wives say they are. Lunardo, i n p a r t i c u l a r , i s g u i l t y of speaking the t r u t h without being aware of i t . He c r i t i c i z e s the behaviour of h i s wife and of women i n general: "No ve contente de l'onesto; ve piaserave i c h i a s s e t i , i p a c c h i e t i , l e mode, l e buffonerie, i p u t e l e z z i . A star i n casa, ve par de star i n preson" (p. 593), obli v i o u s to the fact that f o r hi s wife and daughter, t h e i r home i s a v e r i t a b l e prison. When the women's plot i s discovered, the men debate among themselves how to handle the s i t u a t i o n . Canciano wishes, "poderessimo t e g n i r l e i n casa, sarae i n t'una camera; menarle un pochetin a l a f e s t a con nu, e po tornarle a sera, e che no l e vedesse nissun, e che no l e parlasse a nissun" (p. 644) , and Lunardo has the audacity to ask, "Ma che e quel omo, che voggia far l'aguzzin?" (p. 644) when that i s exactly what he has been doing a l l along. The - 144 -rusteghi are convinced that they know how to enjoy l i f e , but besides making p r o f i t s , there i s l i t t l e else that they f i n d pleasure i n : they begrudgingly admit to l i k i n g women and not being able to l i v e without them; they also enjoy eating "dei boni caponi, de l e bone polas t r e , e des boni s t r a u l i de vedelo" (p. 598), e s p e c i a l l y i f they were bought at a good p r i c e . I t i s on the subject of food that Lunardo and Maurizio f i n a l i z e L ucietta's and F e l i p e t t o ' s marriage contract: Lunardo: V i a , femolo sto s p o s a l i z i o ; destrighemose. Maurizio: Co vole, compare. Lunardo: Ancuo v'aspeto a disnar con mi. Za save che ve l'ho d i t o . Gh'ho quatro l a t e s i n i , vegnimo a d i r e l merito, ma tanto f a t i . Maurizio: I magneremo. Lunardo: Se goderemo. Maurizio: Staremo a l i e g r i . Lunardo: E po i d i r a che semo selvadeghi! Maurizio: Puffe! Lunardo: M a r t u f f i ! (p. 599) Thus, on the basis that they l i k e to eat w e l l , Lunardo and Maurizio refute the assertion that they are boors. When Margarita complains to her husband about having married him, Lunardo reproaches her, "Povera grama! ve manca e l vostro bisogno? no gh'ave da magnar?" (p. 619). To such a t o t a l lack of understanding, Margarita can only answer i r o n i c a l l y , "Certo! una donna, co l a gh'ha da magnar, no ghe manca a l t r o ! " (p. 619). In the same vein i s Lucietta's response to Margarita's assurances that she looks f i n e even i n her p l a i n dress, "Eh s i s i , stago ben! Co no son amalada, stago ben" (p. 613). The rusteghi believe that as long as t h e i r women are fed and clothed, they should have nothing to complain about. What they never r e a l i z e or refuse to accept i s that people do not l i v e on food alone, that human beings are s o c i a l creatures and that there i s a deep need i n everyone to want to communicate with others, to e s t a b l i s h t i e s , to c u l t i v a t e - 145 -friendships. But i n being the self-proclaimed enemies of s o c i a l l i f e and i n wanting to i s o l a t e t h e i r f a m i l i e s from the rest of society, the rusteghi are acting i n bad f a i t h . As merchants they are very much involved i n society and are dependent on s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s for t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . In scorning the women's wish to p a r t i c i p a t e i n s o c i a l events, the rusteghi overlook the fact that they themselves have the opportunity to int e r a c t s o c i a l l y every day through t h e i r business. Whereas the women worry about not being l i k e everyone e l s e , about clashing with s o c i a l norms with regard to fashion and manners, the rusteghi do not care at a l l what the rest of the world thinks. They do, however, value each other's opinion. When Maurizio t e l l s Lunardo that h i s son wants to get married but that he would l i k e to see hi s intended bride f i r s t before deciding, Lunardo says, "con isdegno," "Sior no, questi no xe i n o s t r i p a t i " (p. 597). But Maurizio quickly assures him, "Via, v i a , no ande i n colera, che e l puto fara tuto quelo che voggio me" (p. 597). Later, i n ordering Margarita and L u c i e t t a to change into l e s s fancy clothes, he t e l l s them, "cossa voleu che diga quei galantomeni [my i t a l i c s ] che v i e n da me?. . .No me v o i far smatar" (p. 617), "no voggio che i diga che l a f i a xe mata, e che e l pare no gh'ha g i u d i z i o " (p. 618). When Simon hears that Lunardo wants h i s wife to go and change, he i n s i s t s that h i s wife do the same i n order not appear any less l i b e r a l than Lunardo. The formidable aspect of the rusteghi i s due to t h i s compact that e x i s t s between them, t h i s shared understanding of what i t means to be men. They are a f r a i d of not measuring up, and thus act as models f or each other i n order to re i n f o r c e each other's toughness. Canciano, however, has slipped a l i t t l e i n the others' esteem for he cannot govern h i s wife as they do. - 146 -Simon comments on t h i s , "JLunardo e mij no ghe lassemo l a brena s u l colo, come mio compare Cancian" (p. 644). It i s only when i n the company of h i s friends and with t h e i r support that Canciano confronts h i s wife. F e l i c e knows, however, that " e l f a e l bravo, perche xe i n compagnia" (p. 646), and she does not fear him, even though he threatens to s t r i k e her. But the other women do have reason to fear being beaten, for the rusteghi are violent-tempered. They shout constantly as a means to make th e i r wives cower. In f a c t , Lunardo comments to himself, a f t e r having sent Margarita away i n order that he may be l e f t alone to speak with Maurizio, "Con l e bone no se f a gente. Bisogna c r i a r " (p. 597). E a r l i e r , he had tol d L u c i e t t a to leave or he would slap her. While Sganarelle, and Arnolphe i n p a r t i c u l a r , also display v i o l e n t natures, we never see them attempt to s t r i k e t h e i r wards. Throughout I rusteghi, however, there i s an undercurrent of violence, which surfaces when the men discover Riccardo and Felippetto i n t h e i r wives' company. In h i s rage, Lunardo t r i e s to s t r i k e Margarita and must be dragged away by Simon and Canciano. In the discussion that ensues among the men regarding how to cont r o l t h e i r women, they r e j e c t the idea of beating them only because i t i s i n e f f e c t i v e . "Ghe ne xe dei omeni che bastona l e so muggier, ma credeu che gnanca per questo i l e possa domar?" (p. 645), Simon asks and he answers h i s own question by saying, "Oibo; f a pezo che mai; l e l o fa per despeto; se no i l e copa, no gh'e remedio" (p. 645). Lunardo, i n true blocking f i g u r e fashion, takes Simon at his word and interrupts him, "coparle po no" (p. 645), thereby revealing that even the rusteghi have t h e i r l i m i t s , although t h i s i s of l i t t l e consolation to t h e i r wives. - 147 -Margarita and Marina continually protest t h e i r condition but i n order to have peace i n the household or, i n extreme cases, to avoid being beaten, they must eventually give i n to t h e i r husbands' demands and obey t h e i r order. From F e l i c e , however, they learn of a way that i s more e f f e c t i v e i n dealing with such dehumanizing c o n d i t i o n s — t h a t of t r i c k e r y . We f i r s t hear about F e l i c e from Marina who says of her, "So mario xe de l a taggia del mio; ma F e l i c e no se t o l suggizion; l a l a v o l a so modo, e quel poverazzo ghe va d r i o , come un can barbin" (p. 605). Although Marina considers her own husband "un salvadego. . .un tangaro" (pp. 602-3), she speaks disparagingly of Canciano for not being able to stand up to h i s wife. One could say that she has heard her husband's opinion so often regarding " c h i xe omeni. . .[e] c h i no xe omeni" (p. 625) that she has come., to believe i t h e r s e l f . Or e l s e , i n c r i t i c i z i n g Canciano, Marina i s unconsciously v o i c i n g her envy of F e l i c e who acts as i f Canciano r e a l l y i s happy "che so muggier se deverta, che l a fazza bona f i g u r a , che l a staga i n bona conversazion" (p. 607). The only acting that F e l i c e does, however, i s i n pretending that Canciano approves of her behaviour. Indeed, as h i s asides r e v e a l , he does not. We see from h i s u n c i v i l treatment of Marina and of Riccardo that he i s as much a boor as the rest of them. But t h i s does not prevent F e l i c e from moving f r e e l y i n society and enjoying i t s pleasures: she dresses w e l l , c u l t i v a t e s f r i e n d s h i p s , exchanges v i s i t s , goes to the opera and the theatre, no more, no l e s s than what was considered acceptable behaviour for a woman of her s t a t i o n and means. F e l i c e represents reason, c i v i l i t y , graciousness, elegance, and i s i n d i r e c t contrast to the rusteghi. She i s therefore a p o s i t i v e port r a y a l and there i s no doubt that Goldoni holds up her l i f e s t y l e as exemplary. In f a c t , that F e l i c e ' s l i f e s t y l e i s a desirable a l t e r n a t i v e - 148 -to the one which the rusteghi force t h e i r wives to l i v e i s a point made very early i n the play. In the opening scene, Margarita contrasts her present s i t u a t i o n with her girlhood and depicts the l i f e she led p r i o r to marriage when she p a r t i c i p a t e d f u l l y i n s o c i a l l i f e . She was, however, always accompanied by her mother who was very s e l e c t i v e with regard to acquain-tances and entertainment. In emphasizing that she had a happy girlhood while i n s i s t i n g that she was well brought up, Margarita i s making a d i s t i n c t i o n which i s i n t e g r a l to the play: there are pleasures to be had from society which are legitimate and worthy of pursui t , a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n which the rusteghi never make for they consider pleasure to be synonymous with immorality and extravagance. This point i s of p a r t i c u l a r importance to Goldoni f o r i t implies a defense of theatre and of the playwright whose ro l e i t i s to ent e r t a i n , to bring pleasure. The rusteghi, a f t e r a l l , are as much the enemies of playwrights as they are of women. In f a c t , when Margarita says of her mother, "La procurava de andar dove l a saveva che se fava de l e comedie bone, da poderghe menar de l e f i e e l a vegniva con nu, e se divertivimo" (p. 588), we are reminded of Orazio's d e s c r i p t i o n i n II teatro comico of the new type of comedy which was being presented a l l over I t a l y : non solo e sbandito qualunque reo costume n e l l e persone, ma ogni scandalo d a l l a scena. Piu non s i sentono parole oscene, equivoci sporchi, d i a l o g h i d i s o n e s t i . Piu non s i vedono l a z z i p e r i c o l o s i , g e s t i s c o r r e t t i , scene lu b r i c h e , d i mal esempio. V i possono andar l e f a n c i u l l e senza timor d'apprendere cose immodeste o maliziose. (p. 131) The change i n comedy which Orazio i s r e f e r r i n g to i s e s s e n t i a l l y due to Goldoni's reform which sought to replace the decadent commedia d e l l ' a r t e with comedies of character. Ih II teatro comico, which i s b a s i c a l l y "un - 149 -7 manifesto i n a t t o , una commedia s u l l ' a r t e d e l l a commedia," not unlike Moliere's L'Impromptu de V e r s a i l l e s , Goldoni not only puts forward h i s ideas on what constitutes good comedy but he also shows i t s p o s i t i v e s o c i a l value. Anselmo, i n II teatro comico, sums up Goldoni's opinion: "La commedia l ' e stada inventada per corregger i v i z i e metter i n r i d i c o l o i c a t t i v i costumi; e quando l e commedie dai a n t i g h i se faceva c o s i , tutte e l popolo decideva, perche vedendo l a copia d'un carattere i n scena, ogn'un trovava o i n se stesso, o i n qualchedun a l t r o , l ' o r i g i n a l " (p. 104). Moliere says b a s i c a l l y the same thing i n h i s f i r s t preface to T a r t u f f e , "Le devoir de l a comedie etant de c o r r i g e r l e s hommes en les d i v e r t i s s a n t , j ' a i cru, que, dans l'emploi ou je me trouve, je n'avais r i e n de mieux a g f a i r e que d'attaquer par des peintures r i d i c u l e s l e s v i c e s de mon s i e c l e . " and she i s consequently able to oppose her husband and l i v e a good l i f e . When F e l i c e and her husband come to v i s i t Marina i n I I , 9, we witness her expert handling of Canciano. F e l i c e unlike the other women, does not waste time pro t e s t i n g . Instead, she p u b l i c l y praises her husband to h i s (pp. 612, 610), and feigns offense whenever Marina or Riccardo imply that Canciano i s rude. She explains away h i s behaviour i n such a g l i b manner that Canciano i s often at a los s for words, and prefers to " i n g h i o t i r " (p. 606) rather than confront her. As he himself admits, i t i s as i f she enchants him with her words. Marina i s not b l i n d to F e l i c e ' s method. Throughout t h e i r conversation, she comments on i t : "Oh, co furba che xe c u s t i a ! " (p. 606), "0 che gaina!" (p. 610), and when she t e l l s F e l i c e , "se una gran d i a v o l a " (p. 608), F e l i c e explains, "se no fasse c u s s i , Like Margarita's mother, F e l i c e i s "una donna s u t i l a " (p. 587), face for being a "galantomo" (p. 607), "un omo - 150 -morirave e t i c a con quel mio mario" (p. 608). When Canciano cannot be managed by blandishments alone, F e l i c e threatens him, but always so the others do not hear. As Gozzi says of her, " s i rende i l giogo leggiero con 9 l a destrezza, ma pero con riguardo." When Canciano objects, for example, about going to the opera, F e l i c e says aloud that Canciano "burla" but to him she whispers, "Senti sa, no me far e l mato, che povereto t i " (p. 610). Although F e l i c e occasionally resorts to the rusteghi's proven method of offense as the best defense i n confronting her husband, there are many things that she can only achieve through t r i c k e r y . One of these things i s her wish to help our L u c i e t t a and Fe l i p p e t t o . The young people are i n desperate need of someone to intervene f o r t h e i r sake. They cannot depend on any servant f i g u r e s ; i n f a c t , contrary to t h e . t r a d i t i o n of comedy, Felippetto's servant i s an agent of h i s father, for as Felippetto explains to h i s aunt, Marina, h i s father w i l l not l e t him go anywhere without a servant and Felippetto had d i f f i c u l t y i n persuading h i s servant to l e t him come and v i s i t her. Unlike the young people i n L'Ecole des maris and L'Ecole des femmes, L u c i e t t a and Felippetto are not lovers t r y i n g to marry i n opposition to t h e i r fathers' wishes. On the contrary, t h e i r marriage has been approved by the two fathers. Their problem i s of another nature: although L u c i e t t a i s as eager as Felippetto to marry, they would l i k e an opportunity to meet and see i f they l i k e each other before going through with the marriage. The s i t u a t i o n of the young people i n I rusteghi i s much closer to contemporary r e a l i t y than i t i s i n most of Goldoni's and Moliere's plays i n that the young people take for granted the fact that t h e i r parents have arranged a marriage for them, an accepted norm at that time. The rusteghi, however, overstep t h e i r authority i n i n s i s t i n g that - 151 -Lu c i e t t a and Felippetto marry without ever meeting. Lunardo a c t u a l l y wants L u c i e t t a not to know that she i s to be married u n t i l just before the ceremony. When near the end of Act I I , Lunardo and h i s friends interrupt the women who are se c r e t l y conferring with Felippetto and Riccardo, and Lunardo announces to L u c i e t t a , "In presenza de mia muggier, che te fa da mare, i n presenza de s t i do galantomeni, e de l e so parone, te fago l a niova, che t i xe novizza" (p. 639), he believes t h i s to be the f i r s t time that L u c i e t t a hears that she i s bethrothed. He then informs her that she i s to be married, "ancuo, adessadesso" (p. 640), as soon as Maurizio returns with F e l i p p e t t o , a matter which he had kept secret from h i s wife and which causes the women's plot to be discovered for they are, of course, hiding Felippetto i n the next room. I t i s t h i s wish of the rusteghi not to l e t L u c i e t t a and Felippetto see each other before marriage that h o r r i f i e s both the young people and the wives (a fac t which implies that the l a t t e r had a l i t t l e more say i n t h e i r own marriages). F e l i c e speaks for them a l l when she says, "Acordo anca mi, che l e pute no sta ben che l e fazza l'amor, che e l mario ghe l'ha da trovar so s i o r padre, e che l e ha da obedir, ma no xe mo gnanca giusto de meter a l e f i e un lazzo a l colo, e dirghe: t i l'ha da t i o r " (p. 649). Although, i n i t i a l l y , the women are not equally prepared to unite against them, they a l l agree that t h i s time the rusteghi have gone too f a r . F e l i c e thinks up "l'invenzion de l a maschera" (p. 649) and with Marina's support and Margarita's approval, arranges for L u c i e t t a and Felippetto to meet "avanti de serar e l contrato" (p. 630). The p a r a l l e l that was drawn at the beginning of the play between Margarita's mother's l i f e s t y l e and comedy where the former i s commendable as a l i f e s t y l e and the l a t t e r as entertainment continues i n greater depth - 152 -i n the character of F e l i c e . As the main t r i c k s t e r , F e l i c e i s also the arc h i t e c t not only of the deception to help the young people but also of the play i t s e l f , as i s often the case i n plays where a servant i s the t r i c k s t e r f i g u r e . Although F e l i c e does not make her entrance u n t i l the end of Act I, she immediately assumes r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or helping the young people. "Lasseme e l travaggio a mi" (p. 609), she assures Marina. The deception which F e l i c e sets up i s very t h e a t r i c a l : Felippetto and Riccardo are masked, and Felippetto i s dressed up as a woman. Felippetto plays h i s part so well that he charms the women, e s p e c i a l l y L u c i e t t a . In witnessing the tender and happy scene between L u c i e t t a and Felippeto at t h e i r f i r s t meeting, Riccardo says to himself, "Sono obbligato a l i a signora F e l i c e , che oggi mi ha fa t t o godere l a piu b e l l a commedia d i questo mondo" (pp..637-8). Several times i n the play, F e l i c e a c t u a l l y breaks the i l l u s i o n of the theatre which confirms her ro l e as the a r c h i t e c t of the comedy and reinforces the p o s i t i v e association made e a r l i e r between her way of l i f e and the theatre. When her plot i s discovered, F e l i c e i s determined to remedy the s i t u a t i o n . She therefore engages Riccardo's help once again, but when he asks her how she i s going to make things r i g h t , she answers him, "se ghe digo e l come, xe fe n i a l a comediaV (p. 642), and with these words, she ends the second act. In Act I I I , F e l i c e attempts to reason with the rusteghi. After l i s t e n i n g to her, Lunardo i s uncertain what to do and asks the others for advice. Simon, i n true rusteghi fashion, suggests, "Prima de tuto, mi dirave de andar a disnar" (p. 650). Canciano, however, thinks that the " e l disnar s'avesse desmentega" (p. 651); for the discovery of the women's plo t had put other thoughts into t h e i r minds. But - 153 -F e l i c e interrupts him by saying, "Eh, c h i l'ha ordena; no xe alocco. E l s'ha sospeso, ma nol xe anda i n fumo" (p. 651). Here, F e l i c e i s not r e f e r r i n g to t h e i r host, Lunardo, who i s i n t h e i r midst, but to the author of the play, as Goldoni himself indicates i n a footnote. Thus, F e l i c e takes up the playwright's defense i n the very instance that she draws the rusteghi's ~ attention back to the heart of the problem: how to deal with the women and the young people. In most comedies, i t i s the t r i c k s t e r who has the l a s t say. This i s also the case i n I rusteghi. In her f i n a l words, F e l i c e once again reminds us that we are i n the world of comedy, t h i s time by a l l u d i n g to us, the audience: "Stemo a l i e g r i , magnemo, bevemo, e femo un brindese a l a saulte de t u t i q u e l i che con tanta bonta e c o r t e s i a n'ha a s c o l t a , n'ha s o f f e r t o , e n'ha compatio" (p. 657). Whereas i n the f i r s t two acts of the play, the concerns of the eirons have more to do with preventing a marriage than i n r e a l i z i n g one, the plot of the t h i r d and l a s t act reverts back to that of t r a d i t i o n a l comedy. Here, we f i n d that L u c i e t t a and F e l i p p e t t o , who have seen each other and l i k e what they have seen, are w i l l i n g to marry; but the rusteghi are now against the marriage. Because h i s plans have been thwarted, Lunardo no longer wants L u c i e t t a to marry Felippetto, or for that matter, any other man. He says of her, "Mai p i u , che no l a p a r l a de maridarse. La mandero a serar i n t'un l i o g o , lontana dal mondo, t r a quatro muri, e l a xe f e n i a " (pp. 643-4). S i m i l a r l y , Arnolphe wishes to punish Agnes and to revenge himself not only.by impeding her marriage to Horace but also by sending her to "un c u l de couvent" (v. 1611). The women must f i n d the means to make the rusteghi approve the marriage as well as forgive t h e i r wives. Since more t r i c k e r y would be - 154 -unbecoming to "una donna c i v i l " and "d'onor" (pp. 648, 647), F e l i c e decides to deal with the boors by appealing to reason and to the rules of c i v i l i t y . But i n order to get them to l i s t e n , a d i f f i c u l t feat to achieve with men who prefer to s e t t l e things by shouting, F e l i c e must f i r s t get t h e i r attention. And her strategy i s again t h e a t r i c a l . For a play to run i t s course, the audience must be w i l l i n g to s i t back and l i s t e n ; the more e f f e c t i v e i s the opening scene i n capturing our attention, the more interested w i l l we be i n the proceedings of the plays. F e l i c e therefore handles the men by openly confronting them: by i n t e r r u p t i n g t h e i r heated debate and taking them aback, her entrance i n the second scene of Act III has i t s intended e f f e c t . F e l i c e e s s e n t i a l l y wants to show the rusteghi that i t i s i n the best i n t e r e s t of everyone, and hence the most l o g i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e , that they allow L u c i e t t a and Felippetto to marry. It i s unclear how convinced the rusteghi are by F e l i c e ' s argument for i t i s not u n t i l Marina and Margarita show t h e i r support for F e l i c e that the rusteghi f i n a l l y give the go ahead for Lucietta's and Felippetto's marriage and forgive the young people and t h e i r wives. But whether or not the rusteghi w i l l henceforth be more l i b e r a l with t h e i r wives v o l u n t a r i l y — Cozzi seems to think not for he says that " jT] R u s t i c i [sonoj o b b l i g a t i a cedere d a l l a circostanza, non da cambiato carattere"'''^—the women's triumph over the rusteghi i s not a temporary condition. In helping the young people, the women also improve t h e i r own condition as wives for to the extent that the rusteghi's f a i t h i n themselves i s shaken, the women's i s strengthened. Whereas the unity of the rusteghi i s weakened, i n p a r t i c u l a r by Canciano, who admits that he i s proud of h i s wife's "gran ch i a c c o l a " (p. 651), "Bisogna po d i r l a : gran mia muggier!" (p. 657), the - 155 -women come together and f i n d strength i n unity. The play i s also about the awakening of Marina and Margarita to the cause of the young people and of l i b e r t y . It i s Marina who f i r s t involves F e l i c e i n the young people's problem. And at the end of the play, Marina i s prepared, i n front of the rusteghi, to take her share of the blame i n helping L u c i e t t a and F e l i p p e t t o . Margarita i s at the beginning an ambivalent character, o s c i l l a t i n g between being an alazon and an eiron: she agrees that Lunardo i s being grossly u n f a i r with L u c i e t t a but she i s too a f r a i d to intervene for Lucietta's sake. Her r e p e t i t i o n of the word f i g u r a r s e , which i s made fun of by L u c i e t t a , p a r a l l e l s Lunardo's r e p e t i t i o n of vegnimo a d i r e l merito and i t i s i n d i c a t i v e , as Bergson says, of mechanical and r i g i d behaviour.'''''' As a stepmother, Margarita i s neither greedy l i k e Beline i n Le Malade imaginaire nor concerned l i k e Elmire i n T a r t u f f e ; Margarita, however, does l e t the other women persuade her to l e t F e l i c e go through with her plan. Ultimately, when Maurizio and Lunardo continue to h e s i t a t e i n approving Lucietta's and Felippetto's marriage, Margarita shows her s o l i d a r i t y with the young people. Following Marina's example, she intervenes i n t h e i r behalf by t e l l i n g Lunardo, "Ghe voggio mo i n t r a r anca mi i n sto negozio. S i o r , sx, m'ha despiasso che JFelippettoJ vegna: l'ha fato mal a vegnir; ma c o l gh'ha da l a man, no xe fenxo tuto? Fina a un certo segno me l'ho lassada passar, ma adesso mo ve digo, s i o r sx e l l'ha da t o r , e l l ' h da sposar" (p. 654). I t i s at t h i s point that Lunardo gives i n , "Che e l l a toga, che e l l a sposa, che e l se d e s t r i g a : son s t u f f o ; no posso p i u " (p. 654). Through her new found courage to confront her husband, . Margarita also wins Lucietta's respect. Heretofore, Lunardo had been able to r u l e h i s women more e f f e c t i v e l y by taking advantage of the antagonisms between them. - 156 -We f i n d fused i n the character of F e l i c e the two figures of t r i c k s t e r and raisonneur which i s also found i n many of Moliere's and Goldoni's comedies. In her speeches to the rusteghi i n Act I I I , F e l i c e sounds very much l i k e A r i s t e i n L'Ecole des maris and Chrysalde i n L'Ecole  des femmes. When she t e l l s them, "La maniera che tegni co l e donne, co l e muggier, co l a f i a , l a xe cussx stravagante fora de l ' o r d i n a r i o , che mai i n eterno l e ve podera v o l e r ben; l e ve obedisse per f o r z a , l e se m o r t i f i c a con rason, e l e ve considera no m a r i i , no p a d r i , ma t a r t a r i , orse e aguz z i n i " (p. 649), she i s using A r i s t e ' s and Chrysalde's argument that there i s no merit i n a woman who i s virtuous by force. With regard to fashion, F e l i c e says that there i s nothing immoral about i t "co no se va dri o a tute l e mode, co no se ruvina l a casa" (p. 657) and she seems to echo A r i s t e who says that "tout homme bien sage/Doit f a i r e des habits a i n s i que du langage,/N'y r i e n trop a f f e c t e r , et sans empressement/Suive ce que l'usage y f a i t de changement" (w. 43-6). One can be extravagant i n fashion by wearing outmoded clothes j u s t as much as by primping n o v e l t i e s , for i n p o l i t e society, c a l l i n g attention to oneself, through dress or other means, i s always affected behaviour. In t r y i n g to persuade the rusteghi to be more liberal-minded, F e l i c e i s simultaneously improving the l o t of t h e i r wives and helping the young people to marry happily. In this, play, the contest of wives versus husbands i s therefore superimposed on that of youth versus age, although the former promises to disappear i n the next generation for Felippetto assures the women that he w i l l treat h i s wife "su l'ordene che ha dit o s i o r a F e l i c e " (p. 657). Like A r i s t e and Chrysalde F e l i c e points out to the alazons that they are s e t t i n g themselves up to be derided, to be - 157 -t r i c k e d , " s t a rusteghezza, sto salvadegume che gh'ave intorno, xe sta. causa de t u t i i desordeni che xe n a t i ancuo e ve f a r a esser. . . r a b i o s i , o d i o s i , malcontenti, e universalmente b u r l a i " (p. 656). If the rusteghi refuse to act according to the rules of c i v i l i t y and continue to condemn th e i r wives' actions i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y , t h e i r wives w i l l have no choice but to resort to t r i c k e r y i n order to make l i f e bearable. Where reason and good w i l l p r e v a i l , "una donna d'onor" (p. 648) has no need to be deceptive. "Abie g i u d i z i o vu, se vole che ghe n'abiajmo] anca [nu]" (p. 657), she advises them, " i n soma, se vole v i v e r q u i e t i , se vole star i n bon co l e muggier, fe da omeni, ma no da salvadeghi; comande no tiranneggie, e ame, se vole esser amai" (p. 657), which i s e s s e n t i a l l y a r e i t e r a t i o n of the golden r u l e . ft ft * Both Moliere's L'Ecole des maris and L'Ecole des femmes and Goldoni's I rusteghi are c r i t i c a l of the bourgeoisie: the alazons' inhuman treatment of women as possessions i s perceived by each of the two playwrights as part of the bourgeois mentality. To the narrow-minded values of the bourgeoisie, Moliere opposes those of the a r i s t o c r a c y . He has A r i s t e and Chrysalde contrast Sganarelle's and Arnolphe's r i g i d mentality by having them uphold the a r i s t o c r a t i c notion of honnetete, and we recognize i n A r i s t e ' s and Chrysaldes'. arguments the "twofold aspect of a r i s t o c r a t i c l i b e r a l i s m : freedom of thought and action l e g i t i -12 mized by the inherent moral excellence of the a r i s t o c r a t , " the "fay ce 13 que voudras" motto of the Abbaye de Theleme. F e l i c e ' s speeches to the rusteghi suppose a society which i s i n opposition to them; i t i s not, however, a society which has meaning only for a r i s t o c r a t s but for a l l - 158 -people who are prepared to l i v e according to the rules of c i v i l i t y and reason. F e l i c e ' s appeal to the golden r u l e has a f t e r a l l , u n i v e r s a l a p p l i c a t i o n . With I rusteghi, "Goldoni entra," according to Bonino, " i n netta polemica con i l conservatorismo ormai rozzo d e l l a c l a s s c u i 14 appartiene e i n c u i ha per molto tempo ciecamente creduto." In I rusteghi as i n Sior Todero brontolon, written two years l a t e r , the merchant fig u r e loses the p o s i t i v e q u a l i t i e s a t t r i b u t e d to him i n e a r l i e r comedies, such as La fa m i g l i a d e l l ' a n t i q u a r i o , where, "nei panni d i Panta-lone, aveva impersonato i l prototipo d i un individuo socialmente respon-s a b i l e , consapevole d e l l ' i n t e r e s s e proprio ed a l t r u i , aperto e , i l l u m i n a t o . L i k e I rusteghi, Sior Todero brontolon i s a c r i t i c i s m of the bourgeoisie; Todero, however, supersedes the rusteghi i n following the 16 "dettami del proprio, privatissimo interesse." In Sior Todero brontolon, the "miope l o g i c a d e l profitto"''"^ i s c a r r i e d to absurd l i m i t s . What was with the rusteghi an over-zealous i n t e r e s t i n business and profit-making becomes i n Todero an obsession. Like Harpagon i n L'Avare, Todero i s more interested i n saving money than i n making i t . Although he has no casette to hide, Todero i s as much a miser as Harpagon and worthy to j o i n the ranks of famous misers i n l i t e r a t u r e . The rusteghi are proud of being good money managers and i f others were to c a l l them avaricious, they would consider i t a sign of envy. Harpagon and Todero, however, both deeply resent being c a l l e d misers; at the same time, they want the world to believe that they are poor. In that famous scene where Harpagon searches h i s v a l e t , La Fleche, and asks him to show h i s other "hands", La Fleche mutters under h i s breath, "La peste s o i t de 1'avarice et des avaricieux!" (p. 329). But Harpagon overhears him and La Fleche i s forced to r e t r a c t - 159 -his words. In t r y i n g to reason with h i s father, Cleante t e l l s him that he has no need to worry about bad times because he i s well o f f , but Harpagon reproaches him, "Comment? j ' a i assez de bien! Ceux qui l e disent en ont menti. II n'y a r i e n de plus faux; et ce sont des coquins qui font c o u r i r tous ces b r u i t s - l a " (p. 332). When Meneghetto, come to reason with Todero regarding h i s granddaughter's marriage, t e l l s him, "Se dise che l a l a v o l maridar a l f i o del so f a t t o r , gnente per a l t r o che per e l sparagno miserabile d e l l a dota" (p. 883), Todero r e t o r t s , "Chi dise sta baronada? Chi dise sta f a l s i t a ? No xe vero gnente. Ghe dago siemile d u c a t i . . .diseghelo a ste lengue indegne che me crede un avaro, che son 18 galantomo, e che ghe dago a mia nezza siemile d u c a t i . " With h i s family, Todero i n s i s t s , "Son poveromo; mi no posso pagar un f a t t o r " (p. 897), unaware of the inherent c o n t r a d i c t i o n that a poor man has no need for a steward. Moreover, contrary to Lunardo who i s prepared to provide h i s daughter with a good dowry, Harpagon and Todero arrange marriages f o r t h e i r daughter and granddaughter that w i l l not require a dowry. There are several p a r a l l e l s between these two plays. One thinks, for example, of the scenes with the master and h i s cook which reveal the r i d i c u l o u s l i m i t s of the misers' avarice. Todero wants Gregorio to st a r t cooking " i r i s i . . .a bonora, accio che i cressa, accio che i fazza f a z i o n " (p. 840). In t h i s way, "mezza l i r a de r i s i basta per otto o nove persone" (p. 840). In a s i m i l a r frame of mind, Harpagon reasons that "quand i l y a a manger pour h u i t , i l y en a bien pour dix" (p. 353). Harpagon and Todero expect t h e i r cooks to work miracles i n the kitchen: Gregorio i s supposed to make water b o i l with a f i r e of twigs and Maitre Jacques, "bonne chere avec peu d'argent" (p. 353). - 160 -It i s obvious that Goldoni had Moliere's avare i n mind as a model for h i s Todero. Goldoni makes t h i s apparent by having Todero repeat Harpagon's famous l i n e , "sans dot" (p. 337). In both plays, "nous entrevoyons derniere ce mot qui revient automatiquement, un mecanisme a 19 r e p e t i t i o n monte par l ' i d e e f i x e , " which i n t h i s case i s the misers' obsession with money. Although Harpagon as well as Todero repeats t h i s phrase to the young lover (Harpagon, however, does not know that Valere i s h i s daughter's s u i t o r ) , the instance of i t s r e p e t i t i o n d i f f e r s i n the two plays. To each of Valere's attempts to persuade him to reconsider the marriage that he has arranged for E l i s e , Harpagon answers, "sans dot" to show that a l l of Valere's reasons are n e g l i g i b l e i n view of the fact that Harpagon has found a husband for E l i s e who i s w i l l i n g to marry her without a dowry. At Harpagon's fourth r e p e t i t i o n of "sans dot," Valere must admit, "Cela ferme l a bouche a tout" (p. 337). In Sior Todero brontolon, however, i t i s the young lover, Meneghetto, who res o r t s to Harpagon's type of reasoning i n t r y i n g to persuade Todero t o . l e t him marry Zanetta. When Meneghetto asks Todero, "No l a se degnera de darmela a. mi, che l a t o r r i a senza dota?" (p. 883), i t i s as i f he had seen L'Avare and knew which argument would be the most e f f e c t i v e with an old miser. Todero's reactions, i n p a r t i c u l a r h i s r e p e t i t i o n of "senza dota" (p. 883), indi c a t e that Meneghetto was on the r i g h t track to winning Todero's approval. But Todero, a f t e r stopping to weigh the two choices, concludes that marrying Zanetta to N i c o l e t t o would s t i l l be the more p r o f i t a b l e arrangement for him. Although there are many s i m i l a r i t i e s between the characters of Harpagon and Todero, as a play, Sior Todero brontolon resembles more c l o s e l y T a r t u f f e , perhaps Moliere's best known play. O r i g i n a l l y presented - 161 -i n 1664 as a three-act play, Tartuffe was to be banned and rewritten twice before i t was f i n a l l y allowed, i n 1669, to be presented i n the f i v e - a c t version which i s the only one extant today. Orgon and Todero are p a r a l l e l characters i n that they are both heads of a household and misuse t h e i r authority. Their p a r t i c u l a r obsession, avarice i n the case of Todero and an almost paranoia d i s t r u s t of h i s family i n that of Orgon, not only makes them i n s e n s i t i v e to the needs of the young people but also causes them to betray t h e i r family. Although Orgon i s the father and Todero, the grand-father, i n t h e i r respective f a m i l i e s , three generations are represented i n the Moliere play as w e l l . Orgon's mother, Madame Pernelle, who thinks exactly l i k e her son, appears at the beginning and at the end of the play. Moreover, we can sa f e l y assume that Orgon's second wife, Elmire, i s considerably younger than he i s , at le a s t young enough to appeal to Ta r t u f f e . . Therefore, i n terms of age r a t i o s , Elmire occupies a s i m i l a r p o s i t i o n to„Marcolina i n Sior Todero brontolon: i n age, Elmire i s halfway between her husband and her stepchildren j u s t l i k e Marcolina i s between her father-in-law and daughter. Both Orgon and Todero betray t h e i r f a m i l i e s by allowing an outsider to penetrate the intimacy of t h e i r home. Aft e r witnessing h i s great acts of devotion and cha r i t y at church, Orgon i s so taken by Tartuffe that he brings him home to stay. To his family's d i s b e l i e f , Orgon a t t r i b u t e s to him q u a l i t i e s of s a i n t l i n e s s and ascetism. Whereas the members of h i s family r e a l i z e that Tartuffe i s a hypocrite and an imposter and that he has used his influence over Orgon to gain access into h i s home and "s'impatronise f r ] " (v. 6 2 ) , Orgon cannot d i s t i n g u i s h between " l ' h y p o c r i s i e et l a devotion" (v. 3 3 2 ) , between " l e masque et l e visage" - 162 -(v. 334). His i n f a t u a t i o n with Tartuffe i s such that he can no longer see the obvious, l e t alone " l ' a r t i f i c e . . . jet] l'apparence" (w. 335-6). As Tartuffe himself admits to Elmire, he has succeeded i n making Orgon " v o i r tout sans r i e n c r o i r e " (v. 1526). Early i n the play, Dorine t e l l s Cleante, Elmire's brother, about Orgon's i n a b i l i t y to perceive Tartuffe's gluttony even when the man i s gorging himself before Organ's very eyes. Her words are.borne out when a returning Orgon asks her how things have been at home. Dorine contrasts descriptions of Elmire's poor health with d e s c r i p -tions of Tartuffe's roboustness but Orgon i s only interested i n hearing about T a r t u f f e . Moreover, although Dorine depicts a man who i s bursting with vigour, Orgon expresses concern for him. "Le pauvre homme" (pp. 276-7), he repeats several times, and t h i s mechanical r e p e t i t i o n of the same l i n e i s , as i n the case of Harpagon and Todero, i n d i c a t i v e of h i s idee f i x e . Not content to have brought Tartuffe into the home, Orgon wants to subject h i s family to Tartuffe's moral tyranny. The opening scene of the play reveals that Orgon's family i s a respectable bourgeois family, comfortably w e l l - o f f and comprised of honnetes gens who, before the coming of T a r t u f f e , were a l l happy and free to enjoy those s o c i a l pastimes, "ces v i s i t e s , ces bals, ces conversations" (v. 151) which Madame Pernelle j o i n s with her son and Tartuffe i n condemning. This Moliere play presents for the f i r s t time a p o s i t i v e image of the bourgeosie. The family, which includes servants such as Dorine who have been with i t for a long time, i s outraged by the control that T a r t u f f e , "un inconnu. . . £et] un gueux" (w. 62-3), has acquired, with Orgon's approval, i n t h e i r home. Dorine has her personal objections to Tar t u f f e : she has to put up with h i s servant, Laurent, i n t e r f e r i n g i n her a f f a i r s as well as Ta r t u f f e . - 163 -In the Goldoni play, P e l l e g r i n , h i s wife, Marcolina, and t h e i r daughter, Zanetta, l i v e with h i s father, Todero, who i s the head of the family. Here, as i n the Moliere play, servants are also part of the house-hold. Although the family business i s doing w e l l , Todero t r i e s to d i s c l a i m i t and he tyrannizes h i s household with h i s avarice and constant complain-ing. We have already seen how miserly he i s with such staples as r i c e and firewood," but Todero i s grasping i n terms of h i s authority as w e l l . "In sta casa," he i n s i s t s , "no ghe xe a l t r i patroni che me" (p. 839); he gets very angry when the servants f a i l to address him as patron and even more so when they r e f e r to P e l l e g r i n and Marcolina as patron and patrona. Moreover, Todero has always completely dominated h i s son; consequently, even as "un omo de trentacinque o tr e n t a s i e anni, marida, pare de f i o i , con tanta i n t r a d a , " P e l l e g r i n i s "soggetto a l pare co fa un p u t e l l o " (p. 826), P e l l e g r i n i s allowed no say i n ei t h e r the household or the family business, and Todero does not permit him "de spender un ducato a so modo" (p. 826). As a r e s u l t , Marcolina, even a f t e r a l l the years that she has l i v e d i n her father-in-law's house, i s also "parona de gnente" (p. 826). There are times, for example, when she cannot have her morning coffee because Todero, i n one of h i s many attempts to economize, has locked up the sugar and the coffee. Todero, l i k e Madame Pernelle and the rusteghi, does not approve of s o c i a l functions, and h i s daughter-in-law complains that not once i n her married l i f e has she p a r t i c i p a t e d i n any devertimenti. Marcolina's l i f e contrasts sharply with Elmire for whereas Elmire has been dealing with Orgon's obsession for only a short time, Marcolina has had to put up with Todero's avarice a l l of her married l i f e . - 164 -Todero considers h i s son worthless i n matters of business because of h i s p a s s i v i t y . But i f P e l l e g r i n i s "un alocco" (p. 840), "un bon da gnente" (p. 897), i t i s l a r g e l y due to having l i v e d a l l h i s l i f e under h i s father's s t r i c t authority. Thus, at the same time that he resents h i s son's submissiveness, Todero demands i t . Although Todero admits, "son vecchio; certe fadighe no l e posso piu f a r " (p. 840), he refuses to go to h i s son for help for that would mean lessening h i s hold on the family and the business. Instead, he employs Desiderio as h i s steward and Desiderio's son, N i c o l e t t o , as h i s helper. Despite Todero's claim that they are r e l a t e d " a l i a lontana" (p. 840), they are b a s i c a l l y strangers to the family. Thus, Todero puts the c o n t r o l of h i s household and business into the hands of an outsider whose trust has not been proven; and he wrongs h i s family i n the same way as Orgon, although not to the same extent for whereas Todero r i s k s only f i n a n c i a l r u i n , Orgon r i s k s imprisonment as w e l l . Like Orgon, Todero i s b l i n d to the obvious and completely taken by a self-seeking i n t e r l o p e r . Todero believes Desiderio to be "un galantomo. . .un omo attento JetJ . . . f e d e l " (p. 840), whereas the rest of the household knows that Desiderio i s only looking a f t e r h i s own i n t e r e s t s . Although Todero i s very pleased with Desiderio's and N i c o l e t t o ' s work, he does not pay them a salary. He thinks that i f he treats them as family members, l e t t i n g them take t h e i r meals with the rest of the family, they w i l l be i n h i s debt and therefore not expect a salary. Since both Marcolina and Desiderio mention that they eat a l l together and imply that t h i s i s an uncommon occurrence, i t indicates to what degree Desiderio and N i c o l e t t o have penetrated the intimacy of the family. For Todero, - 165 -Desiderio i s the r e a l i z a t i o n of a miser's dream: someone who w i l l work without a salary. Blinded by h i s avarice, Todero refuses to acknowledge that no one works f o r nothing. If Desiderio i s staying on without being paid, i t i s because the arrangement s u i t s him; more s p e c i f i c a l l y , he i s paying himself by h e l p i n g himself to Todero's wealth on the s l y . The rest of the family i s well aware of t h i s s i t u a t i o n , for Marcolina says to C e c i l i a , the servant g i r l , "s'ha da veder sta mostruosita, che un capo de casa. . .se l a s s a menar per e l n a s o " — T a r t u f f e describes Orgon as "un homme. . .a mener par l e nez" (v. 1524) as w e l l — " d a un tangaro, de un f a t t o r , che se f a l a ponga per e l o " (p. 826). That t h i s i s what has been happening a l l along i s confirmed at the end when Todero dismisses Desiderio and he at f i r s t refuses to go, saying that he expects some recompense for h i s work or he w i l l sue. But when Meneghetto suggests that " s i o r Desiderio renda conto d e l l a so amministrazion" (p. 898), Desdiderio undergoes a quick change of heart and departs i n a hurry. Todero subjects h i s family to h i s niggardly economy measures while Desiderio i s enriching himself at t h e i r expense i n the same way that Orgon expects h i s family to observe Tartuffe's moral maximes while Tartuffe i s free to eat l i k e a glutton and drink l i f e a f i s h . In both plays, although the f a m i l i e s are highly c r i t i c a l of the outsiders, they are resigned to t h e i r presence i n the home; they have, moreover, l i t t l e say i n the matter. But when the head of the family decides to integrate further the outsider into the family by marrying him to h i s daughter, i n the case of Orgon, and to h i s granddaughter, i n that of Todero, the f a m i l i e s r e a l i z e that they can no longer be tolerant and that they must r e s i s t parental authority. In neither play, however, i s i t - 166 -j u s t a question of the t r a d i t i o n a l comic p l o t . Mariane and Valere love each other and so do Zanetta and Meneghetto, but i f t h e i r f a m i l i e s are ready to help them marry against the blocking figure's wishes, i t i s not only because the young people are i n love. Comic conventions aside, both Orgon and Todero are, with regard to t h e i r times, overstepping t h e i r authority. Although i t was common pr a c t i c e i n seventeenth century France for the father to choose a husband for h i s daughter, Orgon, i n wanting to give Mariane i n marriage to T a r t u f f e , i s going back on h i s word for he had already promised her to Valere. In eighteenth century Venetian society, i t was s t i l l the p r a c t i c e f or fathers to choose husbands for t h e i r daughters. Todero, however, i s Zanetta's grandfather, and although he maintains, "mi son e l pare del pare, e son paron d e i f i o i , e son paron d e l l a nezza, e d e l l a dota, d e l l a casa, e de tutto quel che voggio mi" (p. 845), he does not have the r i g h t to arrange a marriage for Zanetta, e s p e c i a l l y behind her parents' back. We have proof of t h i s from the play i t s e l f . Marcolina i n s i s t s that a g i r l only needs her parents' approval to marry. And although Meneghetto w i l l not marry Zanetta "senza che e l nonno lo sappia" (p. 872), he nevertheless admits that "xe vero che e l pare e l a mare gh'ha a u t o r i t a s u l l a putta" (p. 873). Moreover, the marriages which Orgon and Todero want to arrange are s o c i a l transgressions. At the time of Moliere and Goldoni, when a father chose a husband for h i s daughter, he gave utmost consideration to a man's s o c i a l standing and f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n i n order that her future may be secure. It i s obvious that both T a r t u f f e and N i c o l e t t o , whose s o c i a l p o s i t i o n s are unclear and who have no fortune, would make poor husbands i n the eyes of Moliere's and Goldoni's contemporaries. Conversely, Valere and Meneghetto are the - 167 -young women's s o c i a l equals and of f i n a n c i a l l y secure f a m i l i e s . Like Argan i n Le Malade imaginaire, neither Orgon nor Todero wants h i s daughter or granddaughter to marry the man that he has chosen for any other reason except that i t s u i t s him. Orgon, who seems to be undergoing some kind of middle-age c r i s i s , a case perhaps of persecution complex, or as some d i r e c t o r s have suggested, of latent homosexuality, has convinced himself that he cannot l i v e without T a r t u f f e . The only way that he can be c e r t a i n of always having Tartuffe with him i s to make him his son-in-law. S i m i l a r l y , Todero believes that he cannot do without Desiderio. I t i s quite c l e a r that Desiderio, l i k e T a rtuffe i s very w e l l aware of the amount of influence that he exerts over the head of the household. Todero thinks that he can k i l l two birds with one stone by having Ni c o l e t t o marry h i s granddaughter:" Jxe] l a maniera de beneficar ^Desiderio) senza darghe un bezzo del mio" (p. 840) as well as "jjl'obligar} pare e f i o a star con mi, e a servirme come v o i mi" (p. 843). According to Todero's perverted reasoning, he does not expect to have to pay out Zanetta's dowry because the young couple and Desiderio w i l l owe him t h e i r l i v i n g expenses. Moreover, as i f he were never to d i e , Todero plans for the future for he believes that t h i s marriage w i l l assure him a long l i n e of unsalaried workers: "se nassera dei f i o i . . . j V ] se i sara maschi, i vegnira grandi, i me s e r v i r a . I mandero fora i n t e i mi l o g h i , i me s e r v i r a da f a t t o r i " (p. 843). In each of the two plays, the family f i r s t t r i e s to dissuade the blocking f i g u r e from h i s purpose by appealing to reason. In Sior Todero  brontolon, Meneghetto wants to use " d e l l e strade oneste, d e i mezzi f o r t i e c i v i l i per mover l'animo de Sior m i s s i e r " (p. 873). Meneghetto does get - 168 -close i n persuading Todero to l e t him marry Zanetta. Todero i s impressed by the young man's manner and bearing; i n an aside he admits, "No se pol negar, che nol gh'abbia d e l l e massime da omo c i v i l " (p. 882). Meneghetto manages to p r i c k that l i t t l e sense of honour l e f t i n Todero by t e l l i n g him that everyone thinks he i s marrying o f f Zanetta to Nicoletto to save the expense of her dowry and at the same time, b a i t the old man's greed by promising to marry Zanetta without a dowry. Todero does h e s i t a t e , "Xe vero che maridando mia nezza co sto s i o r , i n fazza del mondo parerave piu bon" (p. 884), before he considers the a l t e r n a t i v e and decides to re j e c t Meneghetto because he does.not want to pay Desiderio and N i c o l e t t o . Where Meneghetto has f a i l e d to persuade, no one else can hope to succeed. husband, the family suspects that Mariane's marriage to Valere i s i n jeopardy because of T a r t u f f e . Consequently, Cleante attempts to discuss p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y with Orgon the differe n c e between true and f a l s e devots and open Orgon's eyes to Tartuffe's r e a l nature and to the danger he presents. He points out to Orgon that "ceux qui font beaucoup de b r u i t "Ces gens qui. . ./Font de devotion metier et marchandise/. . .Sont. . ./ D'autant plus dangereux. . ./Qu.'ils prennent contre nous des armes qu'on revere" (w. 365-378). Cleante's basic argument that i t i s s t i l l waters that run deep i s , however, antipathetic to Orgon, who l i k e h i s mother, can only judge by external behaviour. In f a c t , at the beginning of the play, Madame Pernelle c r i t i c i z e s Mariane for being " d i s c r e t e . . . [et] doucette" (w. 22-3) because she believes that " i l n'est. . .pire eau que l'eau qui dort" (v. 23). Both Orgon and Madame Pernelle "cannot even imagine that Even before Orgon announces that Tartuffe i s to be Mariane's (w. 328-9) and he warns that - 169 -20 s p i r i t u a l values might e x i s t apart from s p e c i f i c manifestations of p i e t y . " Dorin's l i n e of argument i s more blunt and p r a c t i c a l . She f i r s t questions Orgon's choice of a husband on society's terms, "que vous apporte une t e l l e a l l i a n c e ? / A quel sujet a l l e r , avec tout votre bien,/Choisir un gendre gueux?" (w. 482-3). She d i s c r e d i t s Orgon's claim that Tartuffe i s an impoverished gentleman and resorts to an even more down-to-earth argument: "Sachez que d'une f i l l e on risque l a vertu,/Lorsque dans son hymen son gout est combattu" (w. 507-8), "Et qui donne a sa f i l l e un homme qu'elle h a i t / E s t responsable au C i e l des fautes qu'elle f a i t " (w. 515-6). But despite Orgon's zeal for v i r t u e , her words f a l l on deaf ears. Dorine's argument i s i n t e r e s t i n g for i t also reveals the absurdity i n the reasoning of Arnolphe and h i s l i k e who, while they fear being cuckolded, i n s i s t on marrying a g i r l who does not love them. Damis, who has overheard Tartuffe t r y i n g to seduce h i s stepmother, thinks he can use t h i s information to convince h i s father that he has grossly misjudged T a r t u f f e . Unfortunately Damis does not r e a l i z e that i n order to succeed, h i s father must believe him over T a r t u f f e . Elmire, however, knows that even i f she were to back Damis, the die i s loaded i n Tartuffe's favour. Moreover, she cannot r i s k her one advantage, and perhaps the family's only.chance of getting r i d of T a r t u f f e , by exposing to him ..where her l o y a l t i e s l i e . Unable to r e s t r a i n Damis, she therefore prefers to withdraw from the ensuing scene. Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , given Tartuffe's adeptness i n handling O r g o n — l i k e many an able t r i c k s t e r , Tartuffe i n t h i s scene resorts to deception by way of truth—Orgon accuses h i s son of p l o t t i n g with the others "pour oter de chez [ l u i j ce devot personnage" -(v. 112). And when Damis refuses to beg Tartuffe's pardon, he banishes him - 170 -from h i s home. Consequently, Orgon also wishes that Tartuffe keep h i s wife constant company and that he be h i s only h e i r . Orgon himself explains that h i s motivation i s " [pour] f a i r e enrager l e monde" (v. 1173), "pour confondre l ' o r g u e i l de toute £sa^] f a m i l l e " (v. 1126), an i n t e n t i o n which indicates that Orgon i s indeed s u f f e r i n g from a persecution complex. L o g i c a l arguments have no e f f e c t on Orgon and Todero because such arguments imply that there i s a r a t i o n a l basis to t h e i r behaviour. Orgon and Todero, however, are obsessed creatures; they respond to a l o g i c which i s r a t i o n a l only to them and t h e i r s e l f i s h i n t e r e s t s have hardened t h e i r hearts against emotional appeals. When Mariane implores Orgon on her knees not to make her marry T a r t u f f e , Orgon h e s i t a t e s , but even Mariane's emotional appeal i s i n e f f e c t i v e f o r Tartuffe has taught Orgon "a n'avoir a f f e c t i o n pour r i e n " (v. 276). If Todero avoids meeting Marcolina, i t i s because he does not want to have to deal with her tears and anger and not because he i s a f r a i d of being moved. Both Elmire and Marcolina seem to have understood t h i s f o r they do not put t h e i r t r u s t i n the attempts which seek to persuade the blocking figures through words. Marcolina admires Meneghetto's s i n c e r i t y but she c o r r e c t l y foresees that he w i l l not succeed i n convincting Todero, "No i l o cognosse; no i sa c h i e l s i a ; no faremo gnente" (p. 873). In T a r t u f f e , everyone except Elmire t r i e s to show Orgon that he i s wrong by appealing to reason. Although Elmire does not come out l i k e Marcolina and express her doubts about the i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s of using reason to dissuade a blocking f i g u r e , she i s never seen discussing with Orgon the issue of Mariane's marriage. Both Elmire and Marcolina r e a l i z e that the only way they can thwart the blocking f i g u r e i s by re s o r t i n g to t r i c k e r y . Dorine, who i s not b l i n d to Tartuffe's i n t e r e s t i n her mistress - 171 -probably suggests to Elmire to arrange a tete a tete with Tartuffe and to pretend not to f i n d h i s attentions offensive i n order to discourage him from marrying Mariane. Dorine demonstrates that she i s as adept a t r i c k -ster as any wily servant i n comedy when she coaches Mariane how to act i n front of her father. But Dorine's e f f o r t s come too l a t e , for whether or not Mariane would have had enough s p i r i t to put into p r a c t i c e her advice, Orgon decrees that Mariane i s to marry Tartuffe that very evening. I t i s at t h i s point that Elmire decides to take matters into her own hands and force Orgon to see Tartuffe "avec pleine lumiere" (v. 1342). We do not know how successful Elmire would have been i n her f i r s t encounter with Tartuffe i f Damis had not interupted them, but Elmire i s prepared, despite Dorine's warning, to take Tartuffe on again and l e t Orgon hear the scoundrel for himself. "On est aisement dupe par ce qu'on aime" (v. 1357), she assures Dorine, "Et 1 1 amour-propre engage a se tromper soi-meme" (v. 1358). Elmire's foresightedness pays dividends: i t i s because she can say that she t r i e d to r e s t r a i n Damis and did not back him that Elmire can convince Tartuffe to t r u s t her and to open h i s heart to her a second time. Elmire aptly leads Tartuffe on to the point that he also exposes h i s r e a l opinion of Orgon. Even though h i s wife's honour and v i r t u e are at s t a g e — E l m i r e has coughed several times to warn him that " 1 ' a f f a i r e [estQ assez avant poussee" (v. 1 3 8 2 ) — i t i s i n d i c a t i v e of Orgon's egoism and r i g i d i t y of mind that he does not show himself u n t i l Tartuffe d i r e c t l y i n s u l t s him. In Sior Todero brontolon, Marcolina, unable to count on her spineless husband, finds an a l l y i n Meneghetto's aunt, Fortunata, who acts as go-between for the two young people. Although Fortunata i s not as - 172 -pessimistic as Marcolina regarding Meneghetto's a b i l i t y to persuade Todero, the two women.do not wait to hear from Meneghetto i n taking matters into t h e i r own hands when the opportunity a r i s e s . Coming unexpectedly upon C e c i l i a rebuking N i c o l e t t o for gloating about his future marriage to Zanetta when he had promised to marry her, Marcolina adds her s t r i n g of i n s u l t s to the poor fellow. Fortunata, however, approaches N i c o l e t t o "fingendo dolcezza" (p. 888). Marcolina, taking her cue from Fortunata, quickly changes her t a c t i c s and the two women are therefore able to disarm the young man and get him to tr u s t them. Together, with C e c i l i a ' s support, they are able to make him admit that he has no p a r t i c u l a r a spirations to Zanetta, that he agreed to marry her only because he i s anxious to marry, and that he would prefer to have C e c i l i a as h i s wife. Although i t i s C e c i l i a who f i r s t makes Marcolina suspect that Todero i s planning to marry Zanetta to N i c o l e t t o , Marcolina does not r e a l i z e u n t i l t h i s moment the c r u c i a l r o l e that C e c i l i a can play i n f r u s t r a t i n g Todero's plan. Reassured by Fortunata and Marcolina that they w i l l stand by them and i t i s to the cre d i t of the two women that they both keep t h e i r word at the end of the p l a y — N i c o l e t t o and C e c i l i a take each other as husband and wife, then and there, i n the presence of Gregorio and the porter, Pasqual, who.are c a l l e d i n on purpose to act as witnesses. I t i s at the end of t h i s short marriage ceremony that a much.saddened Meneghetto a r r i v e s to t e l l the g l e e f u l women of h i s f a i l u r e . As i n Ta r t u f f e , the servant g i r l i n Sior Todero brontolon i s w i l l i n g to go against the blocking figure's orders. Both Dorine and C e c i l i a demonstrate that they are dedicated to the cause of love. Although Dorine also has personal reasons for not wanting Tartuffe to become a - 173 -permanent member of the family, she reveals her genuine concern for Mariane and Valere i n I I , 4, when she has them make up a f t e r t h e i r depit amoureux. C e c i l i a , however, i s dedicated to her own need f o r love. Although Marco-l i n a i s too worried for her daughter's sake to consider C e c i l i a ' s need f o r love important, C e c i l i a ' s love for N i c o l e t t o i s such that she i s w i l l i n g to go without wages. For four months Todero has not paid her and she has not protested because he has promised to arrange a marriage for her and she has assumed that i t i s Nicoletto who Todero w i l l pick out as a husband for her. In looking a f t e r her own needs, the servant g i r l , i n t h i s comedy as i n other Goldoni comedies, helps the young lovers to r e a l i z e t h e i r marriage, but no where are the i n t e r e s t s of the servant g i r l so d i r e c t l y advantageous to the young lovers as they are here. In both plays there are suggestions that t r i c k e r y i s not an honest a c t i v i t y . I t s a s s o c i a t i o n with Dorine i n Tartuffe reaffirms the comic t r a d i t i o n that i t i s s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s who resort to i t . Elmire reinforces the idea that t r i c k e r y i s i n i m i c a l to a well-born woman by apologizing to Tar t u f f e a f t e r having deceived him: "C'est contre mon humeur que j ' a i f a i t tout ceci:/Mais on m'a mise au point de vous t r a i t e r a i n s i " (w. 1551-2). In Sior Todero brontolon, Marcolina suggests to Meneghetto, since he i s not i n immediate need of Zanetta's dowry, that he marry Zanetta without Todero's knowledge, "piu presto che femo, se cavemo fora da ogni p e r i c o l o , da ogni b a t t i c u o r . Mio mario xe contento; mi son contenta; l a putta piu. che piu.. Co '1 pare e l a mare ghe l a da, co elo l a v o l , se trova do testimoni, e se f a tutto quel che s'ha da f a r " (p. 872). To t h i s , Fortunata gives her whole-hearted approval. But Meneghetto, although he agrees that Zanetta's parents are i n t h e i r r i g h t to oppose - 174 -Todero's plan to give h i s granddaughter "a una persona indegna che non l a merita, e che ghe pol f a r disonor" (p. 873), he objects to Marcolina's method, "ma gnanca per questo, l a me perdona, no i l'ha da maridar i n scondon, no i ha da corregger un mai con un a l t r o mai, no s'ha da perder v. e l respetto a un pare e a un missier, che s'ha da compartir per matura, che s'ha da s o f f r i r per legge, per convenienza e per onesta" (p. 873). And Marcolina concedes that he i s r i g h t and f e e l s ashamed of her previous thoughts. These i n d i c a t i o n s i n the plays that t r i c k e r y i s contrary to c i v i l i z e d behaviour and the fact that i t i s only women who suggest and resort to t r i c k e r y could imply a c e r t a i n misogyny on the part of Moliere and Goldoni. However, at a closer look, i t i s obvious that both play-wrights j u s t i f y within the context of t h e i r plays the actions of the t r i c k s t e r woman. In T a r t u f f e , as r h e t o r i c a l means continue to f a i l i n turning Orgon from h i s purpose, the need to resort to t r i c k e r y becomes more and more apparent, a s i t u a t i o n which i s dramatized i n the f i r s t scene of Act IV where CISante f u t i l e l y attempts to reason with T a r t u f f e , a scene which i s immediately followed by the news that Orgon plans to conclude Mariane's and Tartuffe's marriage contract for that evening and Elmire's d e c i s i o n to deceive Tartuffe into exposing h i s true nature. In Sior Todero brontolon, while Meneghetto's speech about wanting to use s o l e l y honourable methods i n winning Todero's approval shames Marcolina (only temporarily, however), i t does not lessen her anxiety for her daughter. For Meneghetto makes i t quite c l e a r that i f he were to f a i l i n moving Todero by "mezzi f o r t i e c i v i l i " (p. 873), he would not resort to t r i c k e r y even i f i t were to mean lo s i n g Zanetta forever. "Tutto se fazza, tutto se tenta," he i n s i s t s , "ma - 175 -che se salva e l decoro, l a g i u s t i z i a , l a convenienza, l'onor" (p. 875). Like Fulgenzio i n Gl*innamorati, Meneghetto subjects love to honour and thus reveals a c e r t a i n r i g i d i t y i n h i s thinking which not even Zanetta's tears can move. Zanetta objects to the conditions which he puts on love. When Meneghetto asks her i n I I , 14, i f she has heard "quanta premura che gh' [ha] de aver l a fortuna d'averla" (p. 874), Zanetta corrects him, "Siora mare voleva, e elo no v o l " (p. 875), and when he t r i e s to reassure her that he loves her, Zanetta answers, "Mi no ghe credo ne bezzo, ne bagattin" (p. 875). In opposing the di c t a t e s of the father f i g u r e , Elmire as well as Marcolina i s e s s e n t i a l l y f i g h t i n g an intruder, and one who has been the f i r s t to resort to deceptive means f o r both Tartuffe and Desiderio are adept though v i l l a i n o u s t r i c k s t e r s . The women are therefore playing the game by the intruder's r u l e s . As Toinette i n Le Malade imaginaire and C o r a l l i n a i n La castalda demonstrate, t r i c k e r y can only be defeated by more subtle t r i c k e r y . There i s also an important diffe r e n c e between the women's ends and the intruders' i n t h e i r use of t r i c k e r y which serves to further j u s t i f y the women's actions. Tartuffe and Desiderio deceive i n order to further t h e i r personal i n t e r e s t s at the cost of the happiness of others; the women, on the other hand, resort to deceptive means out of altruism. Elmire, u n l i k e Beline i n Le Malade imaginaire, has taken her r o l e as wife and stepmother s e r i o u s l y . It i s e s s e n t i a l l y for Mariane's and Damis 1 sake that she decides, at the p r i c e of her own honour, to deceive T a r t u f f e . In the case of Marcolina, i t i s for her daughter's happiness that she i s prepared to oppose at a l l costs Todero's plan, even i f i t means: deceiving him. Marcolina's maternal i n s t i n c t s . r i s e to a crescendo i n a passionate out-- 176 -burst to P e l l e g r i n : ho sempre sopporta, e sopporto, e no digo gnente. . . Perche son una donna d i s c r e t a , perche son una donna d'onor. . .Ma che nol me tocca l a mia creatura. S o f f r i r o t u t t o ; ma no s o f f r i r o mai che e l me l a marida a so modo. . .La xe l e mie v i s c e r e . No gh'ho a l t r o ben a sto mondo, no gh'ho a l t r a consolazion che quelle care r a i s e ; e co penso che i me l a v o l tor, co penso che i me l a pol negar, che i me l a pol sassinar, me sento proprio che me schioppa e l cuor. (pp. 860-1) Marcolina believes that her motherhood i s j u s t i f i c a t i o n enough i n r e s o r t -ing to t r i c k e r y for her daughter's sake. When she says to h e r s e l f , "Xe giusto che a una bona putta ghe abbia da toccar l a grazia de un bon mario" (p. 852), she i s v o i c i n g the claim of t r a d i t i o n a l comedy by which a l l t r i c k s t e r s who are dedicated to the cause of love are j u s t i f i e d . In both plays, the women's deception i s successful. In Sior  Todero brontolon, neither Desiderio nor Todero can undo what has been done. Realizing that he can no longer make Desdierio work for nothing, Todero dismisses him and agrees to l e t Meneghetto marry Zanetta since he i s s t i l l w i l l i n g to take her "senza dota." Elmire i s successful with her deception i n that Orgon f i n a l l y sees the t r u t h ; unhappily, she does not know to what extent Orgon has confided i n T a r t u f f e . Orgon agreed to go through with Elmire's plan because he was c e r t a i n that nothing would come of i t . I t i s i n d i c a t i v e of h i s r i g i d i t y of mind that he does not stop to consider the consequences i f by any chance Elmire and the others were r i g h t about Tar t u f f e : that i s , he cannot interrupt Tartuffe's seduction of h i s wife without revealing to Tartuffe that he knows h i s true nature, and revealing t h i s to T a r t u f f e , to whom he has handed over not only the ownership of h i s home but, more s e r i o u s l y , p o l i t i c a l l y incriminating papers, would be one of the most f o o l i s h things that Orgon could do. But Orgon's foolishness - 177 -does, not stop there: angered by Tartuffe's b e t r a y a l , he orders him out of h i s house. Needless to say, i t i s Orgon and h i s family who must leave. Tartuffe informs them that they must vacate by the next day and he returns with the king's exempt to take Organ to prison. The play r i s k s turning into a tragedy, hence, the need f or a deus ex machina to ensure a happy ending. Moliere i s able to r i g h t the s i t u a t i o n by having the king intervene. Unlike Orgon, the king reveals that he can d i f f e r e n t i a t e between hypocrisy and s i n c e r i t y and he restores to Orgon h i s property and forgives him h i s past d i s l o y a l t y . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that Moliere presents the king himself as an able t r i c k s t e r — a fact which helps to l e g i t i m i z e the use of t r i c k e r y i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s — f o r everyone thinks the exempt has come to take Orgon away, but when Tartuffe t e l l s him, "Deliverez-moi, Monsieur, de l a c r i a i l l e r i e , / E t daignez accomplir votre order, j e vous p r i e " (w. 1897-8), the exempt has a surprise i n store for him: It i s not Orgon but Tar t u f f e who the king has sentenced to pris o n . * * * In these two plays, the three contests, youth-age, servant-master, women-men, are superimposed one on top of the other, or rather, with the exception of the young men, the eiron and alazon figures of the f i r s t two contests are subsumed by the woman versus man contest. In Goldoni's La locandiera, played f o r the f i r s t time i n 1753 and probably h i s best known comedy, we f i n d a l l three of the eiron figures present i n these three d i f f e r e n t contests, incorporated i n one character: Mirandolina. It i s to the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Mirandolina that the comedy owes i t s popularity. Mirandolina, as the t i t l e i n d i c a t e s , i s an innkeeper. Her father has recently died and l e f t her i n charge of i:his inn. Mirandolina i s also young - 178 -and a t t r a c t i v e for she wins the admiration and often the love of many of her guests. We learn t h i s at the very beginning of the play, i n the opening scene, when we encounter the Marchese d i F o r l i p o p l i and the Conte d ' A l b a f i o r i t a , two of Mirandolina's guests, q u a r e l l i n g over t h e i r love for her. A few scenes l a t e r , Mirandolina h e r s e l f informs us, "Quanti arrivano a questa locanda, t u t t i d i me s'innamorano, t u t t i mi fanno i 21 cascamorti; e t a n t i e t a n t i me esibiscono d i sposarmi a d i r i t t u r a . " Unlike the average heroine i n a t r a d i t i o n a l comedy, Mirandolina i s not dependent on a father or guardian. However, her f a i t h f u l employee, F a b r i z i o , seeks to c o n t r o l her freedom for he constantly . . c r i t i c i z e s the l i b e r t i e s she takes with her gentlemen guests. Moreover, he keeps reminding her of her father's l a s t words which we are l e f t to assume expressed h i s desire that Mirandolina marry F a b r i z i o . Thus, i n more than one way, F a b r i z i o represents a father figure i n the face of whom Mirando-l i n a must con t i n u a l l y reassert her freedom. "So quel che fo, non ho bisogno d i c o r r e t t o r i " (p. 351) , she t e l l s F a b r i z i o i n response to h i s reproaches, "[e~] quando mi vorro maritare, me ricordero d i quel che ha detto mio padre" (p. 351). As an innkeeper, Mirandolina i s i n a p o s i t i o n s i m i l a r to C o r a l l i n a , the castalda. Mirandolina has servants under her management but at the same time she must cater to her guests, that i s , serve them. At one point, she says to the Cavaliere d i R i p a f r a t t a , "Dove possa s e r v i r l a , mi comandi con a u t o r i t a . . .sono almeno si c u r a che con l e i posso t r a t t a r e con l i b e r t a , senza sospetto che v o g l i a fare c a t t i v o uso d e l l e mie a t t e n z i o n i , e che mi tenga i n q u a l i t a d i serva" (p. 359). Her servant-like p o s i t i o n i s reinforced by the fa c t that many of her guests are a r i s t o c r a t s . - 179 -When she brings one of her personally prepared dishes to the Cavalier's table, he protests, "Questo non e o f f i z i o vostro" (p. 374), but she corrects him, "Oh signore, c h i son io? Una qualche signora? Sono una serva d i c h i favorisce venire a l i a mia locanda" (p. 374). Mirandolina's remarks to the Cavaliere may be suspect—he i s , i n part, charmed by her "umilta" (p. 374) and o b l i g i n g ways—but she i s well aware of her clas s s i t u a t i o n and does not aspire to marry into the n o b i l i t y . She h e r s e l f admits i n a monologue, "La n o b i l t a non fa per me" (p. 350). Although Mirandolina boasts, "Se avessi sposati t u t t i quello che hanno detto volermi, oh, avr e i pure t a n t i m a r i t i ! " (p. 350), we never see any of the a r i s t o c r a t s who are i n love with her propose marriage. Only once does the question of marriage a r i s e with them and t h i s i s when the Marchese ;says to Mirandolina, "Se f o s s i un conte r i d i c o l o come l u i . . . v i sposerei" (p. 350). But the proposal does not bind the Marchese i n any way for i t i s based on an impossible condition. The Conte and the Marchese make no secret of t h e i r i ntentions. They d i f f e r only i n how they expect to win Mirandolina's favour; the Conte.explains t h i s d i f f e r e n c e to the Cavaliere, " (ll marchese] pretende corrispondenza, come un tr i b u t o a l l sua n o b i l t a . Io l a spero, come una ricompensa a l l e mie a t t e n z i o n i " (p. 344). When the Marchese v i s i t s the Cavaliere i n h i s room with the intent to borrow money, the Cavaliere expresses h i s disapproval not just because the Marchese has succumb to a woman's charms but because that woman i s only a locandiera. Through her a r t f u l ways, Mirandolina succeeds i n making the Cavaliere f a l l passionately i n love with her. But h i s intentions are even les s honourable than the Marchese's and the Conte's. When Mirandolina, feign-r. ing ignorance, asks him, "Che cose vuole da me" (p. 403), he answers, - 180 -"Amore, compassione, p i e t a " (p. 403), and although he t e l l s her, "Vol meritereste l'amore d i un r e " (p. 402), he never mentions marriage. To the Cavaliere's remark that she i s worthy of a king's love, Mirandolina mockingly r e p l i e s , "Del re d i spade o del re d i coppe" (p. 402), further revealing that she has no i l l u s i o n s about her p o s i t i o n i n society. The Cavaliere's passion for Mirandolina i s such that he i s prepared to force himself upon her and Mirandolina has reason to fear for her reputation and her l i f e . F a b r i z i o confronts the Cavaliere with t h i s ugly truth when he takes i t upon himself to defend Mirandolina, "V.S. paga i suoi denari per essere s e r v i t o n e l l e cose l e c i t e e oneste: ma non ha poi da pretendere. . . che una donna onorata. . ." (p. 414). If i t were not for F a b r i z i o , Mirandolina would be completely defenceless, for even the Conte and the Marchese turn t h e i r back on her. Believing that the Cavaliere has won Mirandolina's love, the Conte urges the Marchese to j o i n him i n seeking lodgings elsewhere, "Andiamo e vendichiamoci d i questa femmina sconoscente" (p. 409), and l a t e r he adds, "Voglio rovinare l a sua locanda. Ho f a t t o andar v i a anche quelle due commedianti" (p. 410). In order to save h e r s e l f i n the servant-master contest which she has a c t i v a t e d , Mirandolina's only recourse i s to marry F a b r i z i o . "Finalmente con un t a l matrimonio," she reasons, "posso sperar d i mettere a l coperto i l mio interesse e l a mia reputazione, senza pregiudicare a l l mia l i b e r t a " r (p. 411). Although Mirandolina hopes that she w i l l not compromise her freedom i n marrying F a b r i z i o , she i s , as P e t r i n i notes, "consapevole d i 22 dover fare un s a c r i f i c i o . " It i s , however, "proprio n e l l a sua s c e l t a 23 d i F a b r i z i o " that Mirandolina demonstrates her freedom for with her d e c i s i o n to marry F a b r i z i o , "e stato smascherato e superato. . . i l - 181 -vecchio giuoco d i compromessi ambigui d i n o b i l i vagabondi e d i locandiere 24 piu o meno compiacenti." In making public her promise of marriage to Fa b r i z i o , she also appeases the.Conte and the Marchese who do not consider F a b r i z i o a serious r i v a l , but more important, she forces the Cavaliere, driven by jealousy, to reveal to the others that despite h i s p r i o r claims of being the enemy of women he has f a l l e n i n love with Mirandolina. As Mirandolina explains, i t i s not enough that " i l d i l u i cuore [sia] i n fuoco, i n fiamma,: i n cenere. . .Per compiere l a mia v i t t o r i a , jbisognaj che s i renda pubblico i l mio t r i o n f o , a scorno d e g l i uomini presuntuosi, e ad onore del nostro sesso" (p. 395). I t may very well be true, as P e t r i n i maintains, that never before t h i s play had the theatre shown "una 25 locandiera competere, v i n c i t r i c e , con dei n o b i l i , " but i f Mirandolina resorts to deception and dissimulation i n order to triumph over the Cavaliere i t i s not because he i s her s o c i a l superior but because he i s a man who denigrates women. At f i r s t , when she was insu l t e d and angered by the Cavaliere's rude behaviour towards her, Mirandolina intended only to send him away. His avowed hatred for a l l women, however, fu e l s her anger and Mirandolina decides to vindicate h e r s e l f as well as her sex: "voglio usar t u t t a l ' a r t e per vincere, abbattere e conquassare quei cuori barbari e d u r i che son nemici d i n o i , che siamo l a m i g l i o r cosa che abbia prodotto a l mondo l a b e l l a madre natura" (p. 351) . That she i s both a woman and a popolana, and therefore i n a double subordinate p o s i t i o n only r e i n f o r c e s the comic r e v e r s a l . Although both the youth-age and servant-master d i a l e c t i c s are present i n La locandiera, i t i s the contest of woman versus man which predominates. - 182 -Analyzed from t h i s perspective, La locandiera i s very s i m i l a r to Moliere's Le Misanthrope where i t i s no longer a question of young people and servants r e s i s t i n g authority figures but of a woman struggling for independence i n a man's world. If not Moliere's most popular play, Le Misanthrope, written i n 1666, i s perhaps h i s masterpiece. Moliere 26 himself believed that " i l ne f e r a i t jamais mieux." Aside t h e i r c l a s s d i f f e r e n c e , Celimene and Mirandolina have much i n common and react i n s i m i l a r ways. In both comedies, the heroine enjoys an unaccustomed amount of freedom. Celimene i s a young widow and widowhood was a p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n f or women i n seventeenth century France, for "only as a widow. . . 27 did a woman achieve l e g a l independence of both father and husband." Moreover, because a l l of the characters are young a r i s t o c r a t s and there-fore of the same class and age, Le Misanthrope presents a contest purely between women and men. By managing her father's inn, Mirandolina i s able to support h e r s e l f and maintain her independence. This i s an important point i n the play for Goldoni makes i t very clear throughout that Mirandolina i s a competent innkeeper. When she i s i r r i t a t e d by the Cavaliere's rude behaviour and considers t e l l i n g him to leave her premises, the Marchese says that he w i l l make the Cavaliere go and the Conte assures her that he w i l l cover any money losses that the Cavaliere's departure w i l l bring her. But Mirandolina does not need any help from them. "Grazie, s i g n o r i m i e i , " she t e l l s them, "Ho tanto s p i r i t o che basta, per d i r e ad un f o r e s t i e r e ch'io non l o v o g l i o , e c i r c a a l l ' u t i l e , l a mia locanda non ha mai camere i n oz i o " (p. 348). When the Cavaliere, beginning to f e e l the e f f e c t of Mirandolina 1s charm, decides to leave and asks F a b r i z i o f or the b i l l , he i s surprised to learn that Mirandolina takes care - 183 -of a l l the accounts and has always done so even when her f a t h e r was a l i v e f o r as F a b r i z i o e x p l a i n s , " S c r i v e e sa f a r d i conto meglio d i qualche giovane d i negozio" (p. 392). Both women are happy i n t h e i r present s t a t e and n e i t h e r of them i s anxious to marry f o r i t would mean the l o s s of her freedom. M i r a n d o l i n a could very w e l l be speaking.for Celimene when she t h i n k s to h e r s e l f , "A maritarmi non c i penso nemmeno; non ho bisogno d i nessuno; v i v o onestamente, e godo l a mia l i b e r t a . T r a t t o con t u t t i , ma non m'innamoro mai d i nessuno" (p. 350). These two comedies are unique i n that there i s only one e i r o n , one, moreover, who confronts unaided a group of alazons. Celimene and M i r a n d o l i n a know q u i t e w e l l that they l i v e " i n a world of aggressive 28 and predatory males" and t h a t , "though l e g a l l y f r e e , the unattached 29 woman j i s ) v u l n e r a b l e and [needs] p r o t e c t i o n . " Thus, Celimene as w e l l as M i r a n d o l i n a t r i e s "to preserve her freedom by seeking the p r o t e c t i o n of many men r a t h e r than a s i n g l e one—by manipulating, i n sum, the d e s i r e s 30 of men to s u i t her own i n t e r e s t s . " They hope to maintain t h e i r inde- . pendence by avoi d i n g committing themselves to one man. I f , without making any d e f i n i t e promises, Celimene and M i r a n d o l i n a can lead each of t h e i r s u i t o r s to b e l i e v e he i s the favoured one, they can expect to be served and protected i n d e f i n i t e l y . Thus, i n Celim&ne's sal o n "tout l ' u n i v e r s est h i e n recu" (v. 496) because, as she e x p l a i n s to A l c e s t e , there are people who "ont gagne dans l a cour de p a r l e r hautement. . .je t ] i l s peuvent jnous] n u i r e " ( w . 544-6). She t e l l s A l c e s t e that C l i t a n d r e can help her to win her l a w s u i t , and although we can question Celimene's s i n c e r i t y i n her treatment of A l c e s t e , A l c e s t e does l o s e h i s case because, u n l i k e Celimene, he refuses to plead or " s o l i c i t " f o r h i s cause. With - 184 -regard to Mirandolina, F a b r i z i o agrees to remain i n her employment only because he believes that she w i l l eventually marry him. Mirandolina i s agreeable and charming to her gentlemen guests because i t i s good business sense. But she i s att e n t i v e to a l l her guests as her treatment of Dejanira and Ortensia, even when she discovers that they are actresses, reveals. She knows that i f she keeps her guests happy, they w i l l not only return but also advertise her business by speaking well of her. It i s , a f t e r a l l , by making her guests leave that the Conte t r i e s to harm Mirandolina. Moreover, i t must be noted that Mirandolina i s at a disadvantage f o r the popular consensus was that a woman could not manage an inn alone. On t h i s subject the Conte says, "Sola una giovane a l i a t e s t a d i una locanda s i trovera imbrogliata" (p. 342), and F a b r i z i o reproaches her when she finds h e r s e l f with an impassioned Cavaliere on her hands, "Vedete: questo vuol d i r e perche s i e t e una giovane s o l a , senza padre,.senza madre, senza nessuno. Se foste maritata, non andrebbe c o s i " (p. 412). I f Mirandolina resents the Cavaliere's rude treatment of her, i t i s i n part because he i s prejudicing the reputation of her inn. The marquis, Acaste and Clitandre i n Le Misanthrope and t h e i r p a r a l l e l f i g u r e s , the Conte and the Marchese i n La locandiera are, i n true alazon fashion, equally pretentious, self-centered, literal-minded and t o t a l l y l acking i n self-knowledge. Because of the alazons' i n a b i l i t y to perceive double meanings, i n both comedies the eiron i s able "to multiply the signs of her good intentions without making any firm commit-31 ments," her art therefore l i e s i n being ambiguous. Her strategy i s very simple: she l e t s her s u i t o r s , who are r e s t r i c t e d by t h e i r egoism, hear what they want to hear and think what they want to think. Clitandre and - 185 -Acaste reveal t h e i r meanness and dullness i n t h e i r enjoyment of Celimene's witty but a n n i h i l a t i n g p o r t r a i t s of people they know. Lacking Celimene's wit and s p i r i t , they cannot s a t i r i z e others with such b r i l l i a n c e and must therefore i n c i t e her to create more of the same kind. A sort of symbiotic r e l a t i o n s h i p r e s u l t s between the marquis and Celimene: Celimene's "humeur s a t i r i q u e " (v. 661) thrives on t h e i r f l a t t e r y and t h e i r sense of worth i s nourished by her s a t i r i c a l p o r t r a i t s . Since they have not received, as they admit to each other at the beginning of Act I I I , any p o s i t i v e proof from Celimene that she favours e i t h e r of them, Acaste's as well as Clitandre's hope that he i s the preferred one i s strengthened by hearing Celimene c r i t i c i z e others. They are, however, " d e l i g h t i n g i n Celimene's expert humiliating of t h e i r doubles." Although phrases from her descriptions such as "La s t e r i l i t e de son expression" (v. 607), "[l'3orgueil extreme" - (v. 617), "gonfle de l'amour de soi-meme" (v. 618), " i l veut avoir trop d ' e s p r i t " (v. 634) are a l l equally applicable to Acaste and Clitandre, they never see themselves r e f l e c t e d i n Celimene's p o r t r a i t s . In vying for Mirandolina's love, the Conte as well as the Marchese seeks to h i g h l i g h t himself and humilitate the other. Mirandolina, however, knows that she has only to accept the Conte's g i f t s and he w i l l believe that she must love him. If she humours the Marchese's claim to a r i s t o c r a t t i c s u p e r i o r i t y , he i s convinced that she favours him. Thus, she i s able to make both of them happy without antagonizing e i t h e r one, and they make her happy by prolonging t h e i r stay at her inn. Although they enjoy being desired—Mirandolina's words, "Tutto i l mio piacere consiste i n vedermi s e r v i t a , vagheggiata, adorata" (p. 350), would not be out of character i f spoken by Celimene—Celimene and - 186 -M i r a n d o l i n a are w e l l aware of t h e i r s u i t o r s ' r i d i c u l o u s n e s s . In her asides and i n her d e s c r i p t i o n of them to the C a v a l i e r e , M i r a n d o l i n a r e v e a l s that she considers the Conte and the Marchese " c a r i c a t u r e a f f e t t a t e " "con p r e t e n s i o n i r i d i c o l e " (p. 359). In her l e t t e r to Acaste, Celimene t e l l s him that C l i t a n d r e "est extravagant" (p. 86) and to C l i t a n d r e she w r i t e s what she r e a l l y t h i n k s of Acaste, " i l n'y a r i e n de s i mince que toute sa personne; et ce sont de ses merites q u i n'ont que l a cape et l'epee" (p. 85). In f a c t , both heroines over-estimates t h e i r s u i t o r s ' presumptuousness: Celimene never considers that Acaste and C l i t a n d r e w i l l show each other t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e l e t t e r s ; i n paying too c l o s e a t t e n t i o n to the C a v a l i e r e , M i r a n d o l i n a does not foresee that she w i l l unleash j e a l o u s l y i n the Conte, the Marchese, and F a b r i z i o . In each ease, however, something of t h i s nature was bound to happen sooner or l a t e r f o r n e i t h e r Celimene nor M i r a n d o l i n a could expect to keep t h e i r s u i t o r s i n a s t a t e of u n c e r t a i n t y f o r e v e r . In d e c e i v i n g t h e i r s u i t o r s , Celimene and M i r a n d o l i n a are not only prolonging t h e i r independence but a l s o e n t e r t a i n i n g themselves, as a l l t r i c k s t e r s u s u a l l y do. I t i s obvious that Celimene, i n d a z z l i n g w i t h her w i t and s p i r i t those she scorns, i s enjoying h e r s e l f , f o r she resents A l c e s t e ' s i n t e r r u p t i o n and wants to end the d i s c u s s i o n that he has s t a r t e d . In a monologue at the beginning of La l o c a n d i e r a , M i r a n d o l i n a says, "Voglio b u r l a r m i d i tante c a r i c a t u r e d i amanti s p a s i m a t i " (pp. 350-1), and once again, her words could have been spoken by Celimene. Throughout the p l a y , M i r a n d o l i n a demonstrates that she has a sense of fun. Although she sees through Ortensia's and Dejanira's attempt to pass themselves o f f as noble l a d i e s , M i r a n d o l i n a does not expose t h e i r deception but introduces - 187 -them to the Marchese and to the Conte as dame. D e j a n i r a , who i s h a p p i l y s u r p r i s e d , comments to h e r s e l f , "La l o c a n d i e r a v u o l s e g u i t a r e a f a r l a commedia" (p. 365). U n l i k e M i r a n d o l i n a , however, Celimene i s an a r i s t o c r a t and has time on her hands. In h i s a r t i c l e , "The A r t of Melancholy i n The Misanthrope," Gossman describes t h i s M o l i e r e p l a y as being set against the background of the Counter-reformation s t a t e of which "the monarchy of M o l i e r e ' s patron, Louis XIV. . .with i t s powerful a d m i n i s t r a t i v e bureau-v cracy, i t s n a t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s and m i l i t a r y p o l i c i e s , and i t s elaborate system of academies and pensions i n the a r t s and sciences was the supreme 33 and most s u c c e s s f u l embodiment." In order to ensure i t s "uniform and 34 hegemonic s t r u c t u r e " "every independent center of a c t i o n , whether 35 i n t e l l e c t u a l or p o e t i c . . . r e l i g i o u s . . .or s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l " was considered d i s s i d e n t and could not be t o l e r a t e d . I f i n 1659, a few years before the premiere of Le Misanthrope, La Rochefoucauld can w r i t e of h i s melancholy and i d e n t i f y i t s causes, i n Gossman 1s words, "as the enforced i d l e n e s s and p o l i t i c a l o b s c u r i t y imposed by the regime on men of indepen-36 dent character and ambition," we can imagine how much greater must have been the melancholy of women of s i m i l a r character and ambition who were f u r t h e r r e s t r i c t e d by t h e i r sex. Celimene's c o q u e t t e r i e i s thus not only a way of maintaining her independence but a l s o a way of " f i g h t [ i n g ] boredom 37 and melancholy." A l c e s t e and the C a v a l i e r e are immediately recognizable as alazons by t h e i r h a t r e d , f o r h a t r e d , u n l i k e l o v e , i s not a l i b e r a l i z i n g f o r c e but a r e s t r i c t i n g one. Both A l c e s t e and the C a v a l i e r e hate i n s i n c e r i t y but whereas A l c e s t e r a i l s against a l l mankind f o r p l a y i n g f a l s e and being s e l f -- 188 -seeking, the Cavaliere l i m i t s h i s condemnation to women alone. In t h e i r horror of i n s i n c e r i t y , however, both Alceste and the Cavaliere are not honest with themselves. If Alceste wants "qu'on s o i t sincere, et qu'en homme d'honneur,/ On ne lache aucun mot qui ne parte du coeur" (vy. 35-6), i t i s not for any genuine love of v i r t u e but out of s e l f - l o v e . He denounces " l a vaste complaisance" (v. 61) which he encounters constantly i n h i s a r i s t o c r a t i c world because " e l l e ne faut de merite aucune d i f f e r e n c e " (v. 62), and Alceste wants to be distinguished. "C'est n'estimer r i e n qu'estimer tout l e monde" (v. 58), i n s i s t s Alceste; he therefore considers himself superior to others. I t i s because he thinks so highly of himself that he expects to win h i s case on merit alone. But a seventeenth century French gentleman who refuses to s o l i c i t anyone's help with regard to h i s lawsuit i s being as f o o l i s h as someone today refusing to h i r e the best lawyer that he can a f f o r d . Alceste i s denying the very reason for the existence of law courts: that there are always two sides to every controversy. There i s an inbalance between Alceste's anger and the object of h i s c r i t i c i s m s for i n essence what Alceste attacks with such vehemence i s only the s u p e r f i c i a l i t y of h i s fellows; nowhere does he even touch upon the gross i n j u s t i c e s of h i s society. Whether or not Moliere was aware of what he was doing, these s u p e r f i c i a l c r i t i c i s m s which Alceste d i r e c t s s o l e l y at h i s class reveal the vacuity of the ancien regime a r i s t o c r a c y . Cer-7 t a i n l y , because of our modern day s e n s i b i l i t i e s , the discrepancy between what Alceste reacts to and the nature of h i s reaction i s apparent to us and we can only perceive i t as r i d i c u l o u s . Le Misanthrope was therefore p o t e n t i a l l y subversive i n that i t could "function. . .as a mirror revealing - 189 -38 the audience to i t s e l f " i n the same way that Celimene's p o r t r a i t s of Timante, Damis, or Geralde are doubles of Clitandre and Acaste, a fact which could explain the mixed reaction to the play i n Moliere's time. Coming a f t e r T a r t u f f e , which Roger Planchon describes as " l a premiere 39 piece bourgeoise," and Pom Juan, where an a r i s t o c r a t i n not portrayed i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t , i t i s not implausible that i n Le Misanthrope Moliere s p e c i f i c a l l y intended to make c e r t a i n statements about the ar i s t o c r a c y . In any case, there are other i n d i r e c t c r i t i c i s m s of the ari s t o c r a c y i n the play. Gossman makes an i n t e r e s t i n g d i s t i n c t i o n between Alceste and P h i l i n t e : " P h i l i n t e takes a p o s i t i v e view of commerce and the c i r c u l a t i o n of words, goods, and services: Lorsqu'un homme vous vient embrasser avec j o i e , II faut bien l e payer de l a meme monnaie, Repondre, comme on peut, a ses empressements, Et rendre o f f r e pour o f f r e , et serments pour serments. (w. 37-40) Alceste, i n contrast speaks indignantly of 'commerce honteux' and 'estime 40 a i n s i p r o s t i t u e e . 1 P h i l i n t e ' s mercantile manner of expression was in i m i c a l to an aricieri regime a r i s t o c r a t for i n seventeenth century France, "the merchant was despised by the nobleman and. . .[the merchant] i n h i s turn showed an equal contempt for h i s own c l a s s ; h i s own desire was to 41 r i s e out of i t into the a r i s t o c r a c y . Although we cannot s a f e l y assume that P h i l i n t e i s a spokesman for Moliere, h i s portr a y a l i s a p o s i t i v e one. He i s c e r t a i n l y not a blocking f i g u r e . Moliere even has P h i l i n t e mention L'Ecole des maris and compare himself to A r i s t e and Alceste to Sganarelle. It i s moreover the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of blocking figures to be "preoccupied with conservation and retention, dead set against novelty, m o b i l i t y , change, and exchange, the c i r c u l a t i o n of goods and of money, :.the free - 190 -c i r c u l a t i o n of women and of s i g n s — e v e r y t h i n g that might unsettle the established order of things," which i s i n exact opposition to P h i l i n t e ' s view. Moreover, unlike Alceste or Sganarelle, P h i l i n t e gets the g i r l i n the end; and he i s , i n a sense, the hero of the play. Hubert puts us on the same track when he writes that i n Le S i c i l i e n "Moliere i n s i s t s on the f a c t that Adraste, unlike most of h i s a r i s t o c r a t i c compatriots, knows how 43 to use h i s hands and has become quite an accomplished a r t i s t . " Although she uses words and not paint, Celimene also creates p o r t r a i t s . Like Clitandre, Acaste, and Alceste, Celimene " l e a d [ s j a l i f e of luxurious 44 f u t i l i t y , " but unlike them, she f u l f i l l s a function, and i n a sense, 45 earns her keep, by entertaining. With a "magical a r t i s t r y " akin to a painter's, "she transmutes. . .emptiness into b r i l l i a n t images, breathing 46 l i f e , as i t were, into i n e r t corporeal substance." Alceste's opinion that one should be honest at a l l costs i s so hard set that he i s prepared to s a c r i f i c e s e n s i t i v i t y to s i n c e r i t y . He thus reveals the s e l f i s h nature of h i s crusade against hypocrisy. Not only would he t e l l " l a v e i l l e Emilie/Qu'a son age i l sied mal de f a i r e l a j o l i e , / E t que l e blanc qu'elle a scandalise chacun" (w. 81-3), but he also repeatedly i n s u l t s h i s f r i e n d , P h i l i n t e , the one person who stands by him to the very end. The play's l a s t l i n e i s spoken by P h i l i n t e who asks E l i a n t e to j o i n him i n discouraging Alceste from " l e dessein que son coeur se propose" (v. 1808). In describing Alceste and h i s commitment to s i n c e r i t y , Frye says that he may be i n a strong p o s i t i o n morally, "but the audience soon r e a l i z e s that h i s f r i e n d P h i l i n t e , who i s ready to l i e i n order to enable people to preserve t h e i r s e l f - r e s p e c t , i s the more 47 genuinely sincere of the two." The extent of Alceste s i n s e n s i t i v i t y , - 191 -however, i s revealed i n his treatment of E l i a n t e . Though he knows that E l i a n t e "a du penchant pour l u i " (v. 215), he proposes marriage to her openly admitting that he only wishes to marry her i n order to seek revenge on Celimene. We wonder too how true Alceste can be i n h i s promise of (v. 1276). As a wealthy a r i s t o c r a t and an i n t e l l i g e n t and a t t r a c t i v e man—we have i t from P h i l i n t e that there are several women who have t h e i r eye on A l c e s t e — i t s u i t s Alceste's s e l f - i n t e r e s t to r a i l against "lache f l a t t e r i e , / . . . i n j u s t i c e , i n t e f e t , trahison, fourberie" (w. 93-4) because they subvert the status quo. Celimene, however, because of her sex, i s , l i k e the young people and the servants that we met i n previous comedies, i n a subordinate p o s i t i o n ; l i k e them, she has no reason for accepting things as they are. How much more r e a d i l y we sympathize with Celimene than with the self-righteous prude, Arsinoe, who, i n contrast to Celimene, has chosen the " r o l e of a c t i v e c o l l a b o r a t i o n with the.oppressor, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the male order, as the only e f f e c t i v e means a v a i l a b l e to her of manipulat-mg i t . " In La locandiera, the Cavaliere i s unjust i n considering only women as creatures of deception. In the scene where he sees the Conte and the Marchese i n t e r a c t with Mirandolina, the Cavaliere describes her behaviour as "arte, arte s o p r a f f i n a " (p. 345), but he never perceives the Conte and the Marchese as being i n s i n c e r e . He c r i t i c i z e s them for wasting t h e i r energy and not for being pretentious and aff e c t e d . The Cavaliere thus reveals h i s double standard. When the Marchese asks Mirandolina to h i s room and Mirandolina responds to h i s impudent i n s i n u a t i o n by t e l l i n g bringing E l i a n t e "un coeur tout degage des trompeurs a t t r a i t s - 192 -him p o l i t e l y and f i r m l y that i f he needs a service done i n h i s room, "verra i l camerier a servirljrjQ" (p. 346), the Cavaliere accuses her of "temerita JTe] impertinenze" (p. 346). In making a public show of giving Mirandolina a p a i r of diamond earrings, the Conte seeks to demonstrate h i s su p e r i o r i t y over the Marchese more than to win Mirandolina's favour. Yet, when she accepts h i s g i f t , the Cavaliere comments on her greed and astuteness and overlooks not only the Conte's vanity but also the fact that the Conte has set up the s i t u a t i o n i n such a way that Mirandolina r i s k s offending her guest i f she does not accept. In any case, there i s no excuse for the Cavaliere's rudeness towards Mirandolina whose only f a u l t i n h i s regard i s to have been a gracious hostess when, on the other hand, he treat s the Conte and the Marchese, who deserve to be r i d i c u l e d , with respect and politeness even when the l a t t e r comes to milk for him for money. In I I , 6, the Marchese reveals the extent of h i s miserliness and egoism by o f f e r i n g Mirandolina and the Cavaliere a thimbleful of h i s Cyprus wine which he exalts to the highest degree. The Cavaliere, a f t e r confiding i n Mirandolina that i t i s porcheria, praises the wine. And Mirandolina exposes to the Cavaliere h i s own lack of s i n c e r i t y by saying, "Per me, signore, non posso dissimulare; non mi piace, l o trovo c a t t i v o , e non posso d i r che s i a buono. Lodo c h i sa fi n g e r e " (p. 381). Although Mirandolina's comment i s part of her technique to win the Cavaliere's love by h i g h l i g h t i n g her honesty, her words operate at another l e v e l as we l l . They catch the Cavaliere i n a moment of blindness: he accepts the Marchese's a f f e c t a t i o n and condones i t with f a l s e praise when he would have decried the very same behaviour i n women. Mirandolina's comment has an e f f e c t on the Cavaliere for he muses to himself, "Costei mi da un . p. - 193 -rimprovero; non capisco i l perche" (p. 381), but he does not see through Mirondolina's words and i f they trouble him, i t i s because they s t i r i n him f e e l i n g s of love for her. The Cavaliere accuses a l l women of being " f i n t e , bugiarde, l u s i n g h i e r e " (p. 372), but he errs greatly i n t h i s generalization for a l l the characters i n La locandiera play f a l s e , with t h i s exception: Mirandolina i s the only one for whom " l a f i n z i o n e . . .non e l o strumento 49 per apparire d i v e r s i e m i g l i o r i d i quell a che s i e." Instead, f o r Mirandolina, deception i s " i l solo codice d i v i t a p o s s i b i l e , perche l'unico che l e permetta d i r i b a d i r e l a propria primazia su i n d i v i d u i a l t r i m e n t i q u a l i f i c a t i a c o l l o c a r s i gerarchicamente sopra d i l e i . " " ^ Because the Cavaliere i s both a cla s s snob and a misogynist, he never considers that Mirandolina's s u r v i v a l may depend on her a b i l i t y to use g u i l e . Mirandolina h e r s e l f admits with the Cavaliere that she i s purposely gracious with her guests because i t i s i n her in t e r e s t to do so, "per t e n e r l i a bottega" (p. 357). However, with regard to the Cavaliere, i t i s not for personal gain that she attempts to deceive him but out of p r i n c i p l e — she i s defending women's honour—a point that she he r s e l f underlines, "siccome quel che ho f a t t o con l u i , non l'ho f a t t o per interesse, v o g l i o ch'ei confessi l a forza d e l l e donne, senza poter d i r e che sono interessate e v e n a l i " (p. 398). It i s unfortunate that the scenes with the two actresses are often omitted i n modern productions of La locandiera with the excuse that they slow down the play. They are, however, important i n that they allow us to contrast Mirandolina's art with that of the actresses. Like Mirandolina, the actresses seek to deceive men, but unlike Mirandolina, Dejanira and Ortensia attempt to deceive Mirandolina's guests - 194 -"per miccheggiar f l i ] " (p. 367). What r e s u l t s foremost i n the comparison between Mirandolina and the actresses i s that Mirandolina i s the better actress. Dejanira and Ortensia, " f u o r i d i scena," "non sanno fingere" (p. 364)—an i n t e r e s t i n g twist to the play-within-the-play dynamics. The scenes with the actresses also reveal the Conte's and the MarcheseIs g u l l i b i l i t y and f i c k l e n e s s for they immediately wish to attend these f a l s e noblewomen as soon as they meet them. Mirandolina wants to make the Cavaliere f a l l i n love with her i n order to revenge womankind. Since Alceste i s already i n love with her, Celimene's concern i s of another nature: she wants to keep him interested i n her i n order to prolong her independence. Although the eiron's objective v i s .a v i s the main alazon f i g u r e i n Le Misanthrope i s d i f f e r e n t from the one i n La locandiera, the women i n both plays use s i m i l a r t a c t i c s . It i s i n the way they handle Alceste and the Cavaliere that Celimene and Mirandolina show t h e i r true merit as t r i c k s t e r s . In order to deceive t h e i r other s u i t o r s , they had only to t e l l them what they wanted to hear, which i s the usual technique of eirons, given the r i g i d mentality of alazons. But Celimene and Mirandolina cannot expect to deceive Alceste and the Cavaliere who are on t h e i r guard against i n s i n c e r i t y by openly f l a t t e r i n g them. Instead, they resort to a type of reverse psychology; that i s , they are sincere. By not conforming to t h e i r expectations,, Celimene and Mirandolina are able to take Alceste and the Cavaliere by surprise and throw t h e i r preconceived notions into disarray. In t h i s way, Alceste as well as the Cavaliere i s completely disarmed and f a l l s d i r e c t l y into the eiron's trap. Because Alceste suspects the i n t e n t i o n of every discourse except h i s own to be self-seeking, - 195 -Celimene i s able to exert her power over him by speaking the t r u t h . Her treatment of Alceste i s therefore the opposite of how she deals with Arsinoe. When Arsinoe comes to v i s i t , Celimene t e l l s her "the truth by technique, however, which Arsinoe i n i t i a t e s . Although he makes i t quite clear that he questions her s i n c e r i t y , Alceste expects Celimene to deny h i s accusations of i n f e d e l i t y . But Celimene turns the tables on him by admitting her g u i l t . Whether or not Celimene t r u l y loves Alceste does not take away from the fact that she knows how to manipulate him and to keep h i s love for her a l i v e , f or i n the two scenes where she e s s e n t i a l l y acknowledges her unfaithfulness (II;1, IV,3), not only does Alceste not take her s e r i o u s l y , but he also reasserts h i s love for her. At the beginning of Act I I , Alceste questions Celimene's avowal of love for him, "Vous n'en d i s i e z peut-etre aux autres tout autant?" (v. 508). But Celimene, instead of assuring Alceste that he has no need to doubt her, answers, "He bien! pour vous oter d'un semblable souci,/De tout ce que j ' a i d i t je me dedis i c i , / E t r i e n ne saurait plus vous tromper que vous-meme" (w. 511-3). Alceste's response i s curious. He does not pursue h i s previous question but e s s e n t i a l l y changes the subject by confession that despite a l l h i s attempts to leave Celimene, he cannot help loving her. Since Alceste had t o l d P h i l i n t e that he could not love a coquette such as Celimene i f he were not sure of her f e e l i n g s for him, Alceste obviously does not accept Celimene's remark at face value. 1 The play, however, w i l l bear out that Alceste's suspicions were j u s t i f i e d , for she gives each of her s u i t o r s reasons to hope that he i s the favoured one. It i s i n the very instances where Celimene i s pleading g u i l t y that she i s being c l o t h i n g an i n s u l t i n the garb of p o l i t e s s e ; ...51 a - 196 -sincere, and i t i s i n d i c a t i v e of Alceste's lack of self-knowledge that for a l l of h i s love for s i n c e r i t y , he never sees through her game. When Alceste l a t e r confronts Celimene with the love l e t t e r which she allege d l y wrote to Oronte, she i n i t i a l l y t r i e s to get out of t h i s compromising s i t u a t i o n by t e l l i n g Alceste that the l e t t e r was addressed to a woman. Alceste refuses to accept t h i s explanation, "Osez-vous re c o u r i r a ces ruses grossieres?. . .Voyons. . .comment vous pourrez tourner pour une femme/Tous le s mots d'un b i l l e t qui montre tant de flamme?" (w. 1349-54). Celimene obviously cannot and her only other recourse i s to admit the trut h ; she knows, however, from previous experience that Alceste w i l l not believe her. (Although we cannot be c e r t a i n i f t h i s l e t t e r was addressed to Oronte or to another admirer, we do know that Celimene must have given Oronte some kind of assurance for he too believes that her a f f e c t i o n s l i e with him). Alceste's reaction i s again curious. Whereas a few l i n e s e a r l i e r , he was l u c i d l y analyzing her l e t t e r , at her surprise confession, Alceste prefers to think that she i s not being serious. " C i e l ! r i e n de plus c r u e l p e u t - i l etre invente?" (v. 1371) he exclaims, and he t e l l s her, "Cessez d'affecter d'etre envers moi coupable" (v. 1386). He i s even prepared to go against h i s p r i n c i p l e s f o r he begs her, "Efforcez-vous i c i de paraxtre f i d e l e " (v. 1389), and Celimene's answer underlines the irony of the s i t u a t i o n : "Je voudrais bien savoir qui pourrait me contraindre/A descendre pour vous aux bassesses de feindre?" (w. 1393-4). She n u l l i f i e s what she has j u s t said, however, by r e i t e r a t i n g that Alceste has no r i g h t to suspect her when she has assured him of her love, thereby r e i n f o r c i n g Alceste's b e l i e f that when Celimene admits to unfaithfulness, she i s only pretending. - 197 -Celimene's game of keeping her s u i t o r s i n a constant state of suspense i s exposed i n the l a s t scene of the play when a l l the alazons, " i n common possession of [her] l e t t e r s " and therefore of her true f e e l i n g s for them, gather i n her salon to vent t h e i r anger and to spurn her. When Acaste,- C l i t a n d r e , and Oronte have l e f t , Celimene t e l l s Alceste that whereas she has "Des. autres i c i meprise l e courroux" (v. 1741), she i s sorry to have mistreated him. Whether or not she i s being sincere t h i s time depends on whether or not she has any r e a l a f f e c t i o n for A l c e s t e . But i t does not r e a l l y matter for even though she may love Alceste, her foremost i n t e r e s t heretofore has been to keep a l l her su i t o r s at bay for as long as possible i n order to prolong her independence while enjoying t h e i r p r o t e c t i o n . But Celimene could not hope to manipulate t h e i r desires forever. Thus, when her cover i s exposed, Celimene agrees to marry Alceste, whether or not she preferred him to the others, because she now has to marry. As an unattached women i n "a world of aggressive and 53 predatory males," she cannot survive without the protection of a man. In La locaridiera, Mirandolina marries F a b r i z i o for exactly the same reason. But Alceste's demand that she follow him into h i s desert i s unbearable f o r Celimene, "une ame de vingt ans" (v. 1774) who has ju s t begun to savour her freedom. Rather than marry Alceste on h i s condi-t i o n s , she prefers to face an unfriendly world alone. The fact that Celimene does make t h i s choice, however, would seem to indic a t e that her s i t u a t i o n i s not a l l that bleak; at l e a s t not as bleak as a l i f e of so l i t u d e . Given her wit and b r i l l i a n c e and the f a t u i t y of her ex-suitors, we cannot believe that i t would take Celimene very long to acquire another c i r c l e of admirers. - 198 -In La locandiera, because of monologues and asides (which are s i g n i f i c a n t l y absent i n Le Misanthrope), there i s no ambiguity regarding Mirandolina's f e e l i n g s for the Cavaliere. She neither loves him nor has the inte n t i o n to marry him. Although Celimene enjoys the admiration she receives from her s u i t o r s , she does not boast of her art l i k e Mirandolina does. When she asks Alceste, "Puis-je empecher l e s gens de me trouver aimable?" (v. 462), i t i s as far as Celimene goes i n p r a i s i n g h e r s e l f . Mirandolina, however, says that she i s going to use a l l of her art to win the Cavaliere's love and she i s sure of her success for there i s no man "che possa r e s i s t e r e ad una donna, quando l e da tempo d i poter far uso d e l l ' a r t e sua" (p. 370). I n i t i a l l y , Mirandolina attempts to f l a t t e r the Cavaliere for she brings him her best l i n e n and t e l l s him that i t i s suitable "per un cavaliere d e l l a sua q u a l i t a " (p. 356), but he does not take t h i s b a i t . It i s not u n t i l she confesses what she r e a l l y thinks of the Conte and the Marchese that h i s i n t e r e s t i s sparked; "Brava!" he admits, "Mi piace l a vostra s i n c e r i t a " (p. 357). We know that i n t h i s instance, Mirandolina has been p e r f e c t l y frank with him. Whether or not she takes her cue from h i s praise or whether she had already figured out the strategy of h i g h l i g h t i n g her frankness, she proceeds i n t h i s v e i n . Mirandolina's next step i s to concede that he i s r i g h t i n hating a l l women. "Bravissiomo," she says to him when he t e l l s her that he wants nothing to do with women, " S i conservi sempre cosx. Le donne, signore. . . Basta, a me non tocca a d i m e male" (p. 357). It i s i n t e r e s t i n g that Mirandolina never a c t u a l l y speaks badly of her sex. "A me non tocca a d i m e male," and "noi a l t r e locandiere vediamo e sentiamo d e l l e cose a s s a i ; e i n v e r i t a compatisco quegli uomini che hanno paura del nostro - 199 -sesso" (p. 357) are rather ambiguous remarks and on t h e i r own are not nec e s s a r i l y damaging to women. Mirandolina knows, however, that a misogynist such as the Cavaliere w i l l i n t e r p r e t her words as conforming to and confirming h i s ideas on women. Indeed, he t e l l s her, "Voi s i e t e per a l t r o l a prima donna, ch'io senta parlar c o s i " (p. 357). By l e t t i n g him think that she agrees with him, Mirandolina i s e s s e n t i a l l y appealing to h i s ego. Everyone, and e s p e c i a l l y those who are close-minded, l i k e to be t o l d that they are r i g h t . By agreeing with him, Mirandolina singles him out as d i f f e r e n t from other men and h e r s e l f , from the rest of womankind. In t h i s way, she presents the Cavaliere with an image of themselves as kindred s p i r i t s , superior to everyone e l s e . Hereafter, i t i s only natural for the Cavaliere to associate himself with Mirondolina and i t i s not su r p r i s i n g that he f a l l s i n love with her. Mirandolina continuously lures the Cavaliere with her frankness. She gives a t r u t h f u l d e s c r i p t i o n of h e r s e l f , "Ho qualche annetto; non son b e l l a , ma ho avute d e l l e buone occasioni; eppure non ho mai voluto maritarmi, perche stimo infinitamente l a mia l i b e r t a " (p. 357). She t e l l s him that she l i k e s him because he i s not " [unoj d i q u e l l i che s'innamorano" (p. 359), which i s the very reason why she i s attempting to make him f a l l i n love with her. When she f a l s e l y confesses, "Anch'io mi sento un non so che d i dentro, che non ho p i u s e n t i t o " (p. 377), she quickly denies t h i s f e e l i n g by admitting t r u t h f u l l y , "ma non voglio impazzire per uomini, e molto meno per uno che ha i n odio l e donne" (p. 377), and i n s i s t s that they are ju s t good f r i e n d s . Whatever feigning Mirandolina does, i t i s always of an ambiguous nature so that she cannot ever be pinned down. She purposely gives the Cavaliere s p e c i a l attention but she always assures him that she - 200 -only does so because of t h e i r mutual antipathy for " l e donne che corrono dietro a g l i uomini" (p. 3 5 7 ) , and because she knows that she can deal with him "con l i b e r t a , senza sospetto" (p. 359) and he w i l l not misinter-pret her actions. She i s therefore e s s e n t i a l l y warning him not to f a l l i n love with her, although she i s very well aware of the converse e f f e c t of such warnings. It i s only her tears and f a i n t i n g s p e l l which are pure pretense. But they are only f i n a l touches; by the time Mirandolina resorts to them, the Cavaliere has already f a l l e n i n love. In any case, crying and f a i n t i n g s p e l l s alone would never have subdued a man such as the Cavaliere who i s forewarned against such feminine arms. For her v i c t o r y over the Cavaliere to be complete, Mirandolina wants the Cavaliere to admit p u b l i c l y that he has f a l l e n i n love with her. Once again, Mirandolina i s sincere. She t r i c k s him into revealing h i s love for her i n front of the others by t e l l i n g the tr u t h : that she purposely sought to enamour him and that she has decided to marry F a b r i z i o . Like Celimene, she uses truth as a means to an end, or as Baratto says, Mirandolina "trova n e l l a ' v e r i t a ' l o strumento d i una piu r a f f i n a t a : f i n z i o n e . In the comedies discussed up to now, the eirons, no matter i f there were d i f f e r e n t eiron-alazon contests present, were ultimately distinguished by t h e i r dedication to the cause of love. Although both Celimene and Mirandolina do not pursue marriage and appear to be more dedicated to the cause of l i b e r t y than to l o v e — i t must, however, be remembered that even i n the other comedies love and l i b e r t y are very c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d — t h e y do not underestimate the power of love; they are i n fact aware that t h e i r t r i c k e r y can be e f f e c t i v e only insofar as i t awakens love. - 201 -NOTES •""Moliere's Les Femmes savantes and Goldoni's La f a m i g l i a d e l l ' a n t i q u a r i o are notable exceptions. In h i s book, Moliere: 1 An  Archetypal Approach, Knutson gives an e x c e l l e n t a n a l y s i s of Les Femmes  savantes as a ' s i s t e r ' p l a y to T a r t u f f e , where Orgon becomes Ph i l a m i n t e . The r i g i d i t y of the two women, the a r i s t o c r a t i c mother-in-law and bourgeois daughter, i n La f a m i g l i a d e l l ' a n t i q u r i o represents not so much a c o n f l i c t between generations as the o p p o s i t i o n between c l a s s e s . We see i n t h i s play how Pantalone, the prototype of p o s i t i v e bourgeois values and the v o i c e of common sense i n Goldoni's e a r l y p l a y s , "puo s a l v a r e c i o che e opera e p o s s i b i l i t a d e l l ' i n d i v i d u o ma non puo mutare c a r a t t e r i s t i c h e e s s e n z i a l i d e g l i a l t r i personaggi, quando esse sono i l r i s u l t a t o d i p i u v a s t i c o n f l i t t i s o c i a l i " (Mario B a r a t t o , Tre saggi s u l t e a t r o [Ruzante/Aretino/GoldonJ [Venezia: N e r i Pozza, 197lJ, p. 192). 2 Bonino, I n t r o d u c t i o n , Commedie, p. XLV. 3 Goldoni, Preface to I r u s t e g h i , i n Commedie, V o l . 2, ed. Bonino, p. 583. 4 G o z z i , Gasparo; La gazze t t a veneta, quoted i n Goldoni, by Giuseppe Petronio (1958; r p t . Palermo: Palumbo, 1962), p. 76. ^Goldoni, I r u s t e g h i , i n Commedie, V o l . 2, ed. Bonino, p. 625. t a b a r i n : s o p raweste d i t a f f e t a , quasi sempre i m p r e z i o s i t a da oro or argento (Gastone Geron, Carlo Goldoni c r o n i s t a mondano: costumi e  moda n e l settecento a Venezia [Venezia: F i l i p p i , 1972], p. 184). s c u f f i e : bonnets. c e r c h i : g u a r d i n f a n t i , that i s , h o o p - s k i r t s . toppe":»' c i u f f o d i c a p e l l i n a t u r a l i r i n f o r z a t o da c a p e l l i f i n t i (Geron,~p. 185). c a r t o l i n e s u l f r o n t e : s t r i p s of paper or ribbons which served as c u r l e r s (Geron, p. 177). a n d r i e : a b i t o femminile con s t r a s c i o (Geron, p. 175). cascate: l a c e sleeves (Geron, p. 177). ^Bonino, I n t r o d u c t i o n , Commedie, p. XXV. M o l i e r e , Preface to T a r t u f f e , i n Oeuvres Completes, p. 263. 9 G o z z i , p. 76. G o z z i , p. 77. - 202 -^Bergson, p. 56. 12 Knutson, p. 20. 1 3 F r a n c o i s Rabelais, Gargantua, [ k x t r a i t s ] , ed. Jean-Christian Dumont (Paris: Larousse, 1972), p. 126. 14 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLV. 15, Loc. c i t . 16 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XLVI. 17-Loc. c i t . •I Q Goldoni, Sior Todero brontolon, i n Commedie, Vol. 2, ed. Bonino, p. 883. 19 D cr Bergson, p. 56. 20 Hubert, p. 98. 21 Goldoni, La locandiera, i n Commedie, V o l . 1, ed. Bonino, p. 350. 22 Mario P e t r i n i , Le commedie popolari del Goldoni (Padova: L i v i a n a , 1976), p. 87. 93 P e t r i n i , pp. 88-9. 24 P e t r i n i , p. 84. 25 T Loc. c i t . 26 Mongredien, Notice, Le Misanthrope, p. 18. 27 Gossman, 330-1. ^Gossman, 331. 29 Loc. c i t . 30 T Loc. c i t . - 203 -31 Loc. ext. "^Gossman, 338. "^Gossman, 333. 34T Loc. ext. 35 T Loc. ext. "^Gossman, 334. 37 Gossman, 337. "^Gossman, 339. 3 9 A t t r i b u t e d to him by A l f r e d Simon i n Ta r t u f f e , dans l a mise en scene de Roger Planchon, ed. A l f r e d Simon (Paris: Editions de l'Avant-Scene, 1976) , p. 21. 4 0Gossman, 328. Gossman r e f e r s to the Wilbur t r a n s l a t i o n . ^Lough, p. 40. ^Gossman, 328. 4 3Hubert, p. 159. ^Hubert, p. 143. ^Gossman, 337. 46 T Loc. c i t . ^ F r y e , p. 167. Gossman, 331. 49 Bonino, Introduction, Commedie, p. XXXIII. 50T Loc. c i t . - 204 -Jules Brody, "Don Juan and Le Misanthrope, or the Esthetics of Individualism i n Moliere," PMLA, 84 (1969), 572. 52 Gossman, 331. 53 T Loc. c i t . Baratto, p. 203. - 205 -CONCLUSION In the preceding comedies, we have seen three kinds of e i r o n -alazon contests: youth-age, servant-master, and wife-husband, a l l of which conform to the t r a d i t i o n a l comic p l o t . With Le Misanthrope and La  locandiera, we encounter the most i n t e r e s t i n g v a r i a t i o n of t h i s contest, that of woman versus man, for both these plays question the t r a d i t i o n a l ending of comedies where the young people marry and l i v e happily ever a f t e r . The point that both Le Misanthrope and La locandiera contend with, however, i s not that contemporary young people were not free to marry who they pleased but that contemporary women married for protection. These plays thus r a i s e a feminist issue: f or as long as women can consider entering the, married state f or protection, marriage can never be the happy arrangement that comedy promises. But neither play advocates free love or seeks to undermine the i n s t i t u t i o n of marriage. In Le Misanthrope, we have a p o s i t i v e image of marriage as presented by P h i l i n t e and Eli a n t e who respect each other as equals and mutually consent to marry. And i t i s c l e a r that Mirandolina intended to marry F a b r i z i o a l l along although she would have preferred to keep him waiting a l i t t l e longer. She i s , moreover, c e r t a i n to be happier with him than with any of the noblemen - 206 -for she disdains " i l (modq]di intendere l'amore d i questi nobili."''" As i n the other comedies, the alazons here are also recognizable by being antagonistic to the cause of love and to marriage as a union between equals. In La locandiera, the Conte expects to buy Mirandolina's love and the Marchese thinks he has a ri g h t to i t ; i n Le Misanthrope, the marquis v i e for Celimene's love only because of the prestige marriage with her would bring them, for when they f i n d out what she r e a l l y thinks of them, i t i s t h e i r vanity which i s in s u l t e d and not t h e i r f e e l i n g s which are hurt. In being anti-women, the Cavaliere i s at the same time a n t i - l o v e . Throughout the play he never ceases to denigrate women and he f a l l s i n love with Mirandolina only because he considers her an exception to the rest of womankind. His love for Mirandolina i s therefore no d i f f e r e n t from Arnolphe's for Agnes i n L'Ecole des femmes. Moreover, the Cavaliere's love i s c o n d i t i o n a l . Not only does he never suggest marriage but he also seeks to keep his love for Mirandolina a secret from the others. Although Alceste boasts that " r i e n n'est comparable a ^son] amour extreme [pour Celimene]" (v. 1422), he does not love "comme i l faut que l'on aime" (v. 1421). His i s "un amour. . .grondeuf"(v. 528), for contrary to lovers everywhere who, as E l i a n t e points out, "dans l'objet aime tout leur devient aimable" (v. 714) " [ e t j n'y v o i t r i e n de blamable," (v. 713), Alceste believes that "Plus on aime quelqu'un, moins i l faut qu'on l e f l a t t e , / ^ e t quej a ne r i e n pardonner l e pur amour e c l a t e " (v. 702). What i s even worse, Alceste seeks to possess Celimene; he wants her a l l to himself. In order to demonstrate to Celimene the strength of h i s love for her, he says, - 207 -Je voudrais qu'aucun ne vous trouvat aimable, Que vous fussiez reduite en un sort miserable, Que l e C i e l , en naissant, ne vous eut donne r i e n , Que vous n'eussiez n i rang, n i naissance, n i bien, A f i n que de mon coeur l ' e c l a t a n t s a c r i f i c e Vous put d'un p a r e i l sort reparer 1 ' i n j u s t i c e , Et que j'eusse l a j o i e et l a g l o i r e , en ce jour, De vous v o i r t e n i r tout des mains de mon amour. (w. 1425-32) Thus, l i k e the Cavaliere, although for a d i f f e r e n t reason, Alceste also reminds us of Arnolphe, who says to Chrysalde, "Je veux. . ./ Chois i r une moitie qui tienne tout de moi,/Et de qui l a soumise et pleine dependence/ N'ait a me reprocher aucun bien n i naissance" (w. 124-8) . Gossman says of Moliere's melancholies that they want to have "absolute control over the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the economic goods of society, i t s women, and i t s language, and are engaged i n desperate combat with the forces that escape t h e i r c o n t r o l — f r e e sexual desire, e s p e c i a l l y that of women; free signs that s i g n i f y 'nothing,' as they see i t , such as the signs of fashion or cour t l y f l a t t e r y ; gratuitous and wasteful expenditures; words and 2 gestures that are ambiguous and open to i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . " We can equate Gossman's term melancholic with that of alazon for common forms of melancholia, as i t was understood i n Moliere's own time were hypochondria, 3 avarice, s u p e r s t i t i o n , impiety, and jealousy. This d e s c r i p t i o n applies p a r t i c u l a r l y to Alceste and the Cavaliere i n two ways: both of them seek to have absolute c o n t r o l over women as well as over meaning. Whereas the other s u i t o r s i n Le Misanthrope and La locandiera and the other alazons i n the previous comedies are too fatuous to perceive ambiguity i n language, both Alceste and the Cavaliere want meaning to be fi x e d . Their condemna^ t i o n of i n s i n c e r i t y i s r e a l l y an attack on ambiguity of meaning. The Cavaliere hates women because he thinks they are f a l s e . But i t i s not so - 208 -much women that the Cavaliere hates as ambiguity for he mistrusts h i s own a b i l i t y to i n t e r p r e t . Like Arnolphe and a l l misogynist alazons, he condemns women because he fears being deceived and being made a f o o l of. Since a l l the misogynists that we have studied thus f a r f a l l i n love at one point or another, t h e i r misogyny reveals not so much a hatred of women as a fear of them. Alceste says that he hates f l a t t e r y because i t does not speak from the heart. But i t i s the ambiguous nature of f l a t t e r y which he objects to for i t obscures true merit and Alceste does not want h i s own merit to be diminished i n any way. He thus underestimates the in t e r p r e t a t i v e a b i l i t y of others. In i n s i s t i n g on a one-to-one corres-pondence between s i g n i f i e r and s i g n i f i e d , Alceste and the Cavaliere would deny the p o s s i b i l i t y for great l i t e r a t u r e as well as for deception. I f i t were impossible to deceive, Alceste and the Cavaliere would have t o t a l c o n t r o l over those who are weaker than they or who are t h e i r s o c i a l i n f e r i o r s . But even more important, the end of deception would also mean the end of theatre, for theatre i s the ultimate deceit. P e t r i n i , p. 83. Gossman, 328. Gossman, 327. 209 -NOTES - 210 -BIBLIOGRAPHY Alonge, Robert. Struttura e ideologia n el teatro i t a l i a n o f r a '500 e '900. Torino: Stampatori, 1978. Ari o s t o , Ludovico. 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