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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville, or the Useless Precaution [1775]

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Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, The Barber of Seville, or the Useless Precaution; A Comedy in four Acts. With Songs (London: J. Chouquet, 1776). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1562

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About this Title:

The first of 3 plays Beaumarchais wrote about a master-servant relationship, Count Almaviva and Figaro, during the social upheavals on the eve of the French revolution.

Copyright information:

The text is in the public domain.

Fair use statement:

This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [a]
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, OR THE USELESS PRECAUTION; A COMEDY
IN FOUR ACTS.
WITH SONGS, &c.
By the Author of EUGENIE, or the SCHOOL for RAKES.
ADDRESSED TO R. B. SHERIDAN, Esq;
LONDON:
Printed for J. Chouquet.
1776.
Edition: current; Page: [[i.]]

TO R. B. SHERIDAN, Esq.

SIR,

ALTHOUGH I have no Sanction for addressing you this Publication, I do not think it less proper, than I think it unnecessary to mention here the Reasons that have induced me to publish (contrary to usual Custom) a Piece before it has been acted in London.

As I claim no Merit from publishing this Translation, I believe I need not fear distinterested Censors; and the Gentlemen Reviewers will, I trust, shew the same Candor and Impartiality to this Piece of Mr. Beaumarchais they have shewn before to that Part of his justly admir’d Works that have been translated into the English Language.*

It wou’d be improper, and wou’d not answer my Intention in addressing to you, Sir, the Barber of Seville, were I to alter or retrench one or two Acts, as I intended, and not publish it in four as it is in the Original; that and any other Alteration I leave to be made (if the Piece is deserving his Notice) by the Author of the Duenna, as being most fit to correct its Faults, and more capable of giving it such additional Merit, as will be sure to entitle it to the Favour of the Public.

Edition: current; Page: [[ii.]]

I know not why (contrary to the establish’d Rule of the Drama) the Author in Spight of the united Clamour of the whole House (when acted) brought out this Piece in four Acts, unless like many other Geniusses that will not be confin’d within the Limits it prescribes, leap’d its Bounds merely for the Sake of swerving from Custom.

This ingenious Author, with his Natural Humour, says in his Preface, he cou’d have made a fifth more Interesting than any of the others—He there go on thus—

“In Fact no Body now is ignorant that at the historical Epocha where the Piece ends humourously in my Hands the Quarrel began to be serious, as one may say behind the Curtain, between the Doctor and Figaro about the Hundred Piasters; from Words they proceeded to Blows, the Doctor beaten by Figaro in the Scuffle, made the Net fall which cover’d the Barber’s Head, then was seen with Surprise the Impression of a Spatula that had been applied red hot on his shaven Head.”

Read on I pray, Sir, “at this Sight, tho’ sore with the Blows, the Doctor cries with transport: My Son! Oh heavens, my Son! my dear Son!—but before Figaro cou’d hear him, he had renew’d boxing his Father, for in Fact it was him.

“This Figaro, who of his whole Family had only known formerly his Mother, was a natural Son of Bartholo; the Doctor in his Youth had this Child by a Person then in his Service, the consequence of her Imprudences forc’d her to leave it, and she became an abandon’d Prostitute.

Edition: current; Page: [[iii.]]

“But before she with her Child left the unhappy Bartholo, who then was a Barber, he mark’d his Son with a hot Spatula on the Occiput, that shou’d Fate some Day or other make them meet, he might know him again; the Mother and Child had followed the honourable Business of Beggars for six Years, when a chief with his Gang of Gypsies from Luc Gauric, going thro’ Andalusia being consulted by the Mother on the Fate of her Son, took an Opportunity to steal privately the Child, and left in writing his Nativity.

  • “Thy Son shall shed the Blood from whence he sprung,
  • And after conquering his unhappy Sire,
  • Draw on himself the Weapon and the Crime,
  • And by the stroke gain Happiness and Honour.*

“In changing his Condition, without knowing it, this unhappy young Man had also chang’d his Name against his Will: and was brought up under that of Figaro: he liv’d, his Mother is Marcelina become old, and is a Duenna at the Doctor’s, consol’d for the Loss of her Son, by the dreadful Nativity that was cast for him, but now every Thing is fulfill’d.

“In bleeding Marcelina in the Foot, as is seen or rather not seen in the Piece, Figaro fulfils the first Verse.

  • “Thy Son shall shed the Blood from whence he sprung,
  • Edition: current; Page: [[iv.]]
  • When he innocently cuffs the Doctor after the
  • Curtain is down, the second Verse is fulfilled,

“And after conqu’ring his unhappy Sire.

“At this instant the most interesting Scene takes Place between the Doctor, the old Woman, and Figaro, when they know each other: ’Tis you! ’Tis him! ’Tis thee! ’Tis me! what a Scene! But the Son in despair at his innocent hasty Temper melts in “Tears, and strikes himself with his Razor according to the sense of the third Verse.

“Draws on himself the Weapon and the Crime! And by the Stroke—

“What a Sight! and without explaining whether if with his Razor he cut his Throat or his Beard, it may be seen I had it in my Choice to finish my Piece in the greatest Pathetic; in short, the Doctor marries the old Woman, and Figaro according to the last Lesson,

—gains Happiness and Honour.

“What an Ending!”

Without further Quotations from the Preface or commenting thereon, I wish it may, as it is, prove acceptable to you; and that you will believe me to be, with proper Regard,

Yours, &c.
The PUBLISHER.
Edition: current; Page: [[v.]]

The DRAMA.

[The Dress of the Actors ought to be in the old Spanish Fashion.]

Count Almaviva, a Grandee of Spain, the unknown Lover of Rosina, appears in the First Act in a Satin Waistcoat and Breeches, wrap’d up in a large Spanish brown Cloak; a black Hat slouch’d down with a colour’d Ribbon round the Crown. At the Second Act, dress’d as a Cavalier, with Wiskers and short Boots. At the Third, dressed as a Batchelor of Arts; his Hair curled round, a large Ruff round his Neck, Waistcoat, Breeches, Stockings, and Cloak of a Student. In the Fourth and Fifth, superbly dressed in the Spanish Fashion, with a rich Mantle; and over all, the large brown Cloak, in which he keeps himself wrapped up ’till the Fourth Act.

Bartholo, a Physician, Guardian to Rosina; with a short black Coat, button’d down, a large Perriwig, Ruff, and Ruffles turn’d up; a black Girdle, and when he goes from Home a large searlet Cloak.

Rosina, a young Lady of noble Extraction, and Ward to Bartholo, in the Spanish Dress.

Figaro, Barber in Seville, in the Dress of a Spanish Majo, his Head covered with a Net, a white Hat and colour’d Ribbon round the Crown, a Silk Handkerchief tied loosely round his Neck, a short Waistcoat and Breeches, with Buttons and Buttonholes fringed with Silver, a large Girdle, his Garters tied round the Leg with Tassels hanging down, a flesh colour’d Waistcoat lapelled, the same Colour of the under Waistcoat, white Stockings, and grey Shoes.

Edition: current; Page: [[vi.]]

Don Bazile, Organist and Singing Master to Rosina; with a black Hat slouch’d down, a Cassock and long Cloak, without Ruff or Ruffles.

Youthfull, an old Domestic of Bartholo.

Sprightly, another Servant of Bartholo, a silly sleepy Fellow; both dress’d as Galicans, all their Hair tied in a Queue, flesh-colour’d under Waistcoasts, large Leather Girdles with a Buckle, blue Waistcoats and Breeches, the Sleeves open’d up to the Shoulder to hang loose behind.

Notary, or Lawyer.

An Alcade. [Peace Officer] with a white Wand in his Hand.

Several Algouasils and Servants with Flambeaux.

The Scene is in a Street of Seville, and under the Windows of Rosina at the First Act, and the Remainder of the Piece is in the House of Doctor Bartholo.

Edition: current; Page: [1]

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Represents a Street in Seville, where all the Windows are secured with Jealousies (or Blinds.)

Count Almaviva alone, dressed in a long brown Cloak, his Hat flap’d, looks at his Watch, as he walks.

’TIS earlier than I imagin’d, the Hour is not yet come in which she usually appears at the Jealousie; no matter, better wait Half the Day, then be one Instant too late for such a Sight; could any of my gay Companions take a View of me here an hundred Leagues from Madrid cooling my Heels under the Window of a Woman to whom I have never spoke a single Word, they wou’d think me transform’d into a Spaniard of Queen Isabella’s reign, and why not? Every one seeks his own Happiness, and mine is center’d in Rosina’s Bosom. But hold, let me reason this Affair a little with myself; how comes it to pass that for one Woman I have journey’d all the Way to Seville Edition: current; Page: [2] while by staying at Madrid I had my choice of an Hundred? Faith, it is even that Plenty which I fly from, I am tired with the Conquests which convenience, Interest or Vanity daily offer; Oh how sweet, how exquisite the Pleasure of being lov’d for oneself; if under this Disguise it be possible to arrive at such Happiness!—the Devil take this Intruder.

[Count conceals himself.

SCENE II.

Enter Figaro, his Guitar slung on his Back by a broad Ribbon, hums a Tune merrily; a Paper and Pencil in his hand.

  • Song the Ist. by Figaro.

  • Lover why art thou repining?
  • Cast away thy Sighs and whining
  • Is’t for Love of Daphne? fye
  • Rather to the buxom Lass
  • Let us fill this brimming Glass
  • —Sorrow is confounded dry.

So far is not bad—Hem! Hem! Tol Lol.

[Sings again]

  • Love and Laziness claim Part.
  • Both contesting for my Heart.

Oh no, they don’t contest for my Heart, they reign in it peaceably together.

“Share between ’em all my Heart.”

Does one say share?---Pooh, our Comic Opera-Makers are not so nice now a Days—what is not worth being spoken, is sung.

Sings.
  • Love and Laziness claim Part,
  • Both contesting for my Heart.
Edition: current; Page: [3]

I should like to finish with something fine, brilliant, dazling—with a something, which had the Air of a good Thought

[He puts one Knee on the Ground, and writes whilst he sings.

  • If one has my Affections,
  • Why t’others Predilections.

Oh fie! that’s flat, that won’t do, I must have an Opposition, an Antithesis.—O now I’ve got the whole of it. [He writes and sings.

  • Love and Laziness have Part,
  • They between them share my heart,
  • I to each his Portion gave,
  • No Injustice can be seen,
  • For tho’ one I’ve made my Queen,
  • Yet the other’s still my Slave.

Hem! Hem! When this is set to Music, properly accompanied, we shall see, Gentleman Critics, whether or no, I know what I am about.—[he perceives the Count.—I have seen that Student before. [he arises.

Count aside.

That Fellow’s Face is not unknown to me.

Figaro.

Oh! no, he’s no Student—that Air of bon Ton—

Count.

What a grotesque Figure!

Figaro.

I’m not mistaken ’tis Count Almaviva.

Count.

I really believe, ’tis that Knave Figaro.

Figaro.

’Tis his ownself, my Lord.

Count.

Silence, Puppy, if thou say’st a Word.

Figaro.

I now am certain ’tis you, my Lord, for you always treated me with this Familiarity and Kindness.

Count.

It was with difficulty I recollected thee, thou art so much increased in Bulk.

Figaro.

’Tis the effect of mere Want, my Lord, how can I help it.

Edition: current; Page: [4]
Count.

I pity thee, but how cam’st thou at Seville! I had recommended thee to an Employment at Madrid.

Figaro.

I obtain’d it, my Lord, and my Gratitude—

Count.

Call me Lindor, can’st thou not see by my Disguise I wish to be unknown.

Figaro.

Pardon me, I go.

Count.

No, rather stay, I am waiting here; and two Persons talking, are less liable to be suspected, than one who saunters, let us seem to converse; well and this Employment.

Figaro.

The Minister, paying due Regard to your Excellency’s Recommendation, appointed me immediately to the Office of Apothecary’s Assistant.

Count.

In the Military Hospital?

Figaro.

No, in the Royal Stables of Andalusia.

Count.

That was an honourable Preferment.

Figaro.

The Place was not so indifferent neither; for having in my Department the Care of the Drugs, I frequently had an Opportunity of selling to my fellow Creatures excellent Horse Medicines.

Count.

And by those Means kill’d his Majesty’s liege Subjects.

Figaro.

Why there is no such Thing as an universal Remedy; but I have more than once succeeded with Gallicans, Catalonians, Auvergnans, and wandering Scotchmen.

Count.

And wherefore, then, did’st thou quit it?

Figaro.

Quit it, my Lord!—It quitted me: Some evil-minded Villain hurt my Interest with the Minister. [Heroically.] Pale, ghastly Envy, with her crooked Talons.

Count.

Oh! Mercy! Mercy!—And dost thou make Verses as well as Medicines? I thought I perceived thee scribbling on one Knee, and singing thy Works so early.

Figaro.

This unfortunate Turn was the Cause of my Disgrace; when the Minister heard I had made Verses (tolerable good ones too, I may without Vanity Edition: current; Page: [5] say) Poesies to Cloris, sent Riddles to the Diaries, and that some Madrigals in my style were handed about—In short, when he found I was printed alive, he took the Matter in a serious Light, and turned me out of my employment, under Pretext that the Love of the Muses, and Attention to Horse affairs were incompatible.

Count.

Most profound Wisdom! And did you not remonstrate?

Figaro.

No, I thought myself blest in being forgotten; knowing from Observation, that a great Man shews us a particular Kindness when he does us no Injury.

Count.

I do not believe thou tellest all the Truth; I remember thou had’st but a dubious Character when in my Service.

Figaro.

My God! my Lord, you rich Folks always would have us poor ones be entirely without faults.

Count.

Idle, debauch’d,

Figaro.

According to the Perfections you fine Gentleman expect in your Servants, does your Excellency think many of your Acquaintance worthy the Office of Valet-de-Chambre?

Count aside.

(That’s not bad;) And so you retir’d to this City.

Figaro.

Not immediately.

Count, stopping him.

A Moment—I thought it was her—But proceed, I hear you.

Figaro.

Return’d to Madrid, I tried once more my literary Talents, and the Stage seem’d to offer me a Field of Honour.

Count.

Oh merciful!

Figaro.

[While he speaks the Count fixes his Eyes on the Jealousie] In Truth, I cannot guess why I had not the greatest Success; for I had taken Care to place a Party in the Galleries, with Hands like Battledores, and forbad Gloves, Canes, and every dull Token of Applause; and upon my Honour before the Curtain Edition: current; Page: [6] was drawn up, the House appeared most favourably disposed: but Party—

Count.

Oh! poor Mr. Author, your Works were made a Party-affair of, were they?

Figaro.

And why not mine as well as another’s? The Play was hiss’d, and totally underwent Damnation; but if ever I have them assembled again—

Count.

Dullness will amply revenge thee.

Figaro.

A Curse on them, how I will treat ’em!

Count.

Hush! You’ll be carried before the Magistrates for Swearing.

Figaro.

No fear of that from my Antagonists, those Gentleman respect Justice too much to look it in the Face; and understand Punctilios so exactly, as never to dispute Place, even with a Bailiff’s Follower.

Count.

Thy merry Rage amuses me; but thou hast omitted telling me why thou left Madrid.

Figaro.

It certainly was at the Instigation of my good Genius, since I have here the Happiness of meeting with your Excellency. Perceiving the Literati of that City waged continual War among themselves, and that there were Critics of all Magnitude and Degrees of Strength, as Vultures, carrion Crows, small carnivorous Birds, Wasps, Flies, Gnats, and Hornets, ever ready to devour the remains of such unfortunate Authors as fall in their intestine Skirmishes: Tir’d of my Pen, my Neighbours, and myself, having weighty Debts, light Pockets, and being by sad experience convinc’d that the certain Income of the Razor was more to be depended on, than the glorious one of the Pen, I took french leave of Madrid and made a sentimental, philosophical Journey, through the two Castiles, la Mancha, Extramadura, Sienna, Morenna, and Andalusia: was well receiv’d in some Towns, imprison’d in others, ever above the Frowns of Fortune, despising Fools, defying Knaves, laughing at Poverty, and shaving all the World before me; so at last you find me here settled in Seville, and ready to serve Edition: current; Page: [7] your Excellency in all you shall please to command me.

Count.

How hast thou acquired so merry a Philosophy.

Figaro.

Accustomed to Misfortunes I laugh at every Event, least on consideration I shou’d find myself more dispos’d to cry; but wherefore, my Lord, are your Eyes always fixt that Way.

Count.

Let’s get away.

Figaro.

Why so?

Count.

Make haste Blockhead, or you’ll ruin me

[both withdraw.]

SCENE III.

The Jealousie on the first floor opens and Bartholo and Rosina appear at the Window.

Rosina.

How agreeable it is to breath the fresh Air! this Jalousie is so seldom open.

Bartholo.

What Paper is that in your hand?

Rosina.

Some Verses of a Song in Labour in Vain, which my singing Master gave me yesterday.

Bartholo.

Labour in Vain, what’s that Labour in Vain?

Rosina.

It’s a new Play.

Bartholo.

Something dramatic, some new Piece of Folly.

Rosina.

I know nothing about it.

Bartholo.

The News Papers will take it and the Author to Task;—what an ignorant Age we live in!

Rosina.

You are always finding Fault with the poor Age we live in.

Bartholo.

Oh! I beg Pardon for taking so much Liberty; but pray what has it produced? A Variety of Follies, Free-thinking, Electricity, Attraction, Toleration, Inoculation, Jesuits Bark, the Encyclopedy, and Loads of nonsensical Plays.

Edition: current; Page: [8]
Rosina drops the Paper out of the Window.

Oh! my Song! My Song is fall’n out of the Window, while I was listening to you; pray make haste, run down, or it will certainly be lost.

Bartholo.

What the Devil was you thinking of? Don’t you know how to hold a Bit of Paper in your hand? [He leaves the Balcony. Rosina looks down into the street and makes a sign.

Rosina.

Hist! hist! Take it up and retire quickly. [The Count appears, snatches it up and withdraws.

Bartholo comes out of the House and seeks.

Where about is it? I can find nothing.

Rosina.

Under the Balcony close to the Wall.

Bartholo.

A fine Errand, this you’ve sent me on—somebody has certainly been here.

Rosina.

I have seen no Body.

Bartholo to himself.

And I was simple enough to look for it.---Oh! Bartholo, my Friend, thou art a mere Dupe; this may warn you in future not to open Jealousies towards the Street.

Rosina still in the Balcony.

My Situation must plead my Excuse; alone, confin’d, subject to the Persecutions of a Man I abhor, attempting my Liberty sure is no Crime.

Bartholo appearing at the Balcony.

Please to walk in, Signora; this Time it was my Fault, you dropt your Song, but I give you my Word the like Misfortune shall not happen to you again. [He locks the Jealousies.

SCENE IV.

Count and Figaro enter softly.

Count.

Now they are retir’d let us examine this Song; it certainly contains some Mystery.---’Tis a Letter!

Figaro.

He ask’d what Labour in Vain was.

Edition: current; Page: [9]

Count reads hastily,

“Your Assiduity excites my Curiosity; as soon as my Guardian is gone out, sing carelessly to the Tune of this Song, some Words which may inform me of the Name, Condition, and Intentions of him who appears so obstinately attached to the unfortunate Rosina.

Figaro, mimicking Rosina.

Oh my Song! My Song is fallen down, pray run down and seek it (laughs) Ha! ha! Oh these Women! If by Chance one was born free from Art, lock her up, and---

Count.

My dear Rosina!

Figaro.

Oh! my Lord, ’tis needless I should trouble you with any further Questions on the Motives of your Disguise---You make Love in Perspective.

Count.

Thou hast guest the Cause, but if thou pratest---

Figaro.

I prate! Not to tire you with long Protestations of my inviolable Attachment, or the extreme Delicacy of my Sentiments in Points of Honour, I’ll say but one Word, my Interest will answer for me.

Count.

I understand thee.---Know then about six Months past I met on the Prado a young Person so beautiful---(but thou hast just now seen her) all the Researches I made after her in Madrid were vain, ’tis but within these few Days I have discover’d that her name is Rosina, an Orphan of a noble Family, and married to a Physician of this City call’d Bartholo.

Figaro.

In Faith, a rare Bird! and very hard to come at, but who told you she is the Doctor’s Wife?

Count.

Every Body.

Figaro.

’Tis no such Thing, he spread that report on his Arrival at Madrid to keep off Suitors, as yet she is only his Ward, but will ere long---

Edition: current; Page: [10]
Count, with earnestness.

Never! had the fatal Knot been tied, no human Means shou’d have prevented me from informing her, how poignant wou’d have been my Regret; but since I find her free I will not lose a Moment to secure that Freedom, and save her from the horrid Fetters which are forging for her; but dost thou know this Guardian?

Figaro.

As well as my own Mother.

Count.

What sort of a Man is he?

Figaro

(with vivacity) He is a fat, short, grey old Man, with a close shav’d Chin and shining Face, who peeps, watches, scolds, and grunts, continually.

Count

(out of patience.) Oh! I have seen him, pray what’s his disposition?

Figaro, with Vivacity.

Brutal, avaricious, amorous, jealous to Excess of his Ward, who in return hates him mortally.

Count

(impatiently.) Then his Means of Pleasing are—

Figaro.

None.

Count.

So much the better, I shall punish a Knave in making myself happy.

Figaro.

This will be doing at the same Time a public and private Good! what a Master-piece of Morality!

Count.

You say the Fear of Suitors to Rosina, makes him shut his Doors to all, but his Intimates.

Figaro.

’Gainst every Soul, he’d Stop—each Crevice.

Count.

The Devil! that’s bad; and cannot you contrive to get Access?

Figaro.

Cannot I? Imprimis, the House I live in belongs to the Doctor, who gives me Lodging gratis.

Count.

Ha, Ha!

Figaro.

Yes, and I in return, as a Mark of Gratitude, promise him five Doubloons a Year, but that also gratis.

Count.

Then, thou art his Tenant?

Figaro.

Aye, and likewise his Barber Surgeon, Apothecary; no one in this House, is ever combed, Edition: current; Page: [11] shaved, bled,—but by the Hand of your humble Servant.

Count

(embracing Figaro.) Ah my Friend Figaro, thou will be my best Benefactor, my guardian Angel.

Figaro.

The Devil! how quickly Utility levels Distinction! grant me kind Fortune, every Master to be in Love.

Count.

Happy Figaro! thou may’st approach Rosina, thou wilt behold her! what Happiness?

Figaro.

How unfortunate it is that you, and not I are in Love with Rosina; if we cou’d change Places.

Count.

Oh! could we but blind the Argus’s who watch her!

Figaro.

I was considering about that.

Count.

If but for twelve Hours only—

Figaro.

By keeping People employ’d in their own Affairs, they are prevented in meddling with those of others.

Count.

Doubtless, but what!

Figaro.

Methinks the Pharmacopeia might furnish us some little innocent means—

Count.

Oh Villain!

Figaro.

Did I tell you I meant to hurt them? they all have occasion for physical Assistance, and I can lay them under courses, the very same Day.

Count.

But the Doctor may suspect.

Figaro.

We must use such Dispatch, that Suspicion may not have time to arise, a Thought has just occurr’d to me, the Regiment of Royal Infantry is just arriv’d in this City.

Count.

The Colonel is my friend.

Figaro.

Good, you shall introduce yourself to the Doctor in the uniform, with your Billet for Quarters, he cannot avoid receiving you, and I’ll conduct the rest.

Count.

Excellent!

Figaro.

It will not be amiss if you pretend to be in Liquor.

Count.

Of what use wou’d that be?

Edition: current; Page: [12]
Figaro.

To lull his Suspicions, and make him suppose you more likely to sleep than intrigue in his house.

Count.

Incomparably plan’d! and why will not thou go.

Figaro.

I! we shall be very fortunate, if he does not know you whom he has never seen, and how to introduce you afterwards?

Count.

That’s true.

Figaro.

Can you, do you think act the part of a Cavalier in Liquor.

Count.

Thou jests with me. [assuming the Voice of a drunken Man—Is not this the house of Doctor Bartholo Friend?

Figaro.

That’s not amiss, only stagger more—(In a more drunken tone of Voice) Is not this the House?

Count.

Oh fye! that’s the Drunkenness of a Blackguard.

Figaro.

’Tis the best Kind! and the most jovial.

Count.

The Door opens.

Figaro.

’Tis the Doctor; we must withdraw, till he is gone.

SCENE V.

Count and Figaro hid, Bartholo as he leaves the House says,

Bartholo.

I’ll return instantly, let no one come in; what Folly it was in me to go down, sure her desiring it of me was enough to raise my suspicions, and Bazile does not come tho’ he had promis’d, that ere now every Thing shou’d be ready for our Marriage, that it might be secretly concluded to Morrow; but no news of him, I must go and see what can cause this Delay.

Edition: current; Page: [13]

SCENE VI.

Count and Figaro, appear.

Count.

Heavens! what did I hear; to morrow he weds Rosina in private!

Figaro.

My Lord, the more difficulty there is to your succeeding, only adds to the Necessity of your Undertaking.

Count.

Who is this Bazile, that assists him in this Marriage.

Figaro.

A reduc’d Gentleman who teaches his Ward Music; infatuated to his own Performance, he is knavish and needy, idolizes Money, wou’d go on his Knees before a Piaster, and may be easily bribed, my Lord (looking at the Jalousie) there, there.

Count.

Where! where!

Figaro.

Behind the Jalousie, there she is, there she is, dont’ look.

Count.

Why?

Figaro.

Did she not in her letter desire you wou’d sing carelessly, but there! there she is.

Count.

Since I find I have made some Progress in her favour, without being known, I will not quit the Name of Lindor, my Triumph will be more compleat. But how shall I set Words to this Music; who never cou’d make a common Distich?

[he unfolds the Paper which Rosina threw out of the Window.

Figaro.

Whatever comes first into your Head, Lovers are never severe Critics, take my Guittar.

Count.

To what purpose! I play so intolerably bad!

Figaro.

Can any Man like you be ignorant of any Arts, strike with the back of your Hand, thrum, thrum, thrum, were you to sing without a Guittar every school Boy in Seville wou’d run after you, in spite of your Disguise, you’d soon be known.

[Figaro, stands close to the Wall under the Balcony.

Edition: current; Page: [14]

[Count. Sings walking accompanies his Voice with his Guittar.

Figaro.

In a low Voice. Very well; come take Courage, my Lord.

Count, sings.

  • SONG by the Count.

    • Behold your Lover fearful grown,
    • All his fond Hopes are chas’d away,
    • He durst adore you whilst unknown,
    • But now your Will he dreads t’obey.
    • In me an humble Youth behold,
    • With me an humble Lot you’ll prove.
    • I’ve neither Titles, Gems, nor Gold,
    • Yet am I passing rich in Love.
    • Here poor Lindor shall chaunt his Strain.
    • At Morn, at Noon, at Eve, at Night,
    • And tho’ his Vows prove but in vain,
    • Your Beauties still shall bless his Sight.

Figaro comes to the Count and kisses the bottom of his Garment with a shrug. On my Soul this exceeds all.

Count.

Figaro?

Figaro.

Your Excellency.

Count.

Do you think she heard me?

Rosina sings within, they hear the Windows shut suddenly.

  • Each hour I’m convinc’d that my Lindor is charming,
  • Soft thoughts my fond Heart are forever alarming.
Figaro.

Will you believe now, she heard you?

Count.

She has shut her Windows, some one no doubt enter’d her Appartment.

Figaro.

Oh, no Matter! you have caught her my Lord! Did not you remark how the poor Thing seem’d to tremble as she sung.

Count.

Dear Angel! she made use of the same Means she taught me: each Hour I’m convinc’d that my Lindor is charming—what Graces, what Wit!

Edition: current; Page: [15]
Figaro.

What Beauty, what Cunning, what Love!

Count.

And do’st thou think she will be mine Figaro?

Figaro.

She’ll sooner come thro’ those iron Bars, if necessary, than disappoint you.

Count.

Then ’tis fix’d, and I’ll be thine Rosina, during life.

Figaro.

You forget; she is no longer listening to you.

Count.

Do you hear Figaro? I have but one Word to tell you; I mean Rosina for my Wife, and if you are faithful and assist me in my project of concealing my Name—you understand me, you know.

Figaro.

I’ll do my utmost; now, my Boy, Figaro fly to meet thy fortune with open Arms.

Count.

Let us retire to avoid Suspicion.

Figaro, hastily.

I’ll enter here, and by my Magic Art, with one stroke of my Wand, awaken Love, lull Vigilance asleep, bewilder Jealousy, Rouze Intrigue, and overturn every Obstacle that comes in our Way; you, my Lord, must haste to my House and equip yourself with Regimentals, the Billet for your Quarters and Gold in your Pocket.

Count.

Gold, for what Use?

Figaro.

For what Use? for every Use; ’tis the Sinews, the Soul of Intrigue.

Count.

Don’t be angry, Figaro; I’ll take care to bring Plenty.

Figaro.

I will be with you quickly.

Count.

Figaro?

Figaro.

What wou’d you have?

Count.

Here take thy Guittar?

Figaro.

Surely, I am bewilder’d to forget my Guittar. [Exit.

Count.

And your Direction, thoughtless?

Figaro.

I believe I’m Planet-struck! my Shop’s not ten Doors from thence, ’tis painted blue, Casement Windows, three bleeding Cups lined with red Rags in the Air, an Eye in Hand, underneath is Written, Concilio Manuque, and the great Name of Figaro, in brilliant Letters of Gold. [Exit.

Edition: current; Page: [16]

ACT II.

SCENE I.

Represents Rosina’s Apartment, the Window at the End of the Theatre shut with a bar’d Jalousie.

Rosina alone, a Light in her Hand, takes Paper off of the Table and goes to write.

MARCELINA is indisposed, all the other Servants are employ’d, and no one at leisure to observe my Actions, I know not if these Walls have Ears and Eyes, or that my Argus has some evil Spirit that’s ever ready to inform his Master: but every Word I utter, every Step I take, he, as by Magic, instantly guesses, and even discovers my Intentions; alas Lindor! (seals her Letter) I’ll e’en prepare my Letter, tho’ I know not how, nor when I shall convey it to him; this Morning looking thro’ the Jalousie I saw him in Conversation with the Barber Figaro, he’s an honest Man, that has sometimes seem’d to pity me; if I could speak to him!

SCENE II.

Rosina and Figaro.

Rosina in a surprise.

Oh, Mr. Figaro, I’m very glad to see you!

Figaro.

I thank you Ma’am, I hope, I see you well.

Edition: current; Page: [17]
Rosina.

Not very well, this solitude destroys me.

Figaro.

I do not doubt it, it only fattens Fools.

Rosina.

Who was it you held such earnest Conversation with yonder? I did not hear it! but—

Figaro.

It was a young Student my Relation, a Youth of promising Genius, excellent Talents, acute Wit, most refined Sentiments, and a very pleasing Figure.

Rosina.

Very pleasing I assure you! very pleasing! pray what is his Name?

Figaro.

Lindor, Ma’am, he has no Fortune; but had he staid at Madrid, I’m sure, with his Parts, he would have found very good Employment.

Rosina.

He surely will here—a young Man, such as you describe, cannot remain neglected.

Figaro, [aside] Very well [aloud] But he has one great failing which I fear will impede his Advancement.

Rosina.

A Failing did you say, Mr. Figaro! a Failing, and are you sure of it.

Figaro.

He is in Love.

Rosina.

In Love, and do you call that a Failing?

Figaro.

Why truly, it only is one relative to his ill fortune.

Rosina.

Oh how unjust is Fate! and does he name the object of his Passion? I cannot help being curious.

Figaro.

You are the last Person in the World, I would chuse to impart it to.

Rosina hastily.

Why, Mr. Figaro, I assure you I am very discreet; this young Man is your Relation, and I cannot help interesting myself in whatever concerns him, so pray tell me.

Figaro looking slyly at her.

Then, Ma’am, imagine to yourself the prettiest little Girl you ever saw, with a soft, tender, blooming, delicate Shape, Ivory Neck, taper Arms, snowy Hands, and Lips, Cheeks and Eyes that surpass all Description!

Rosina.

And lives in this Town?

Figaro.

Aye, and in this Neighbourhood.

Rosina.

Perhaps in this Street.

Edition: current; Page: [18]
Figaro.

Very near me.

Rosina.

How fortunate this is for your Relation, and her Name is—

Figaro.

I have not nam’d her.

Rosina hastily.

That is the only Thing you have forgot—Pray tell me instantly; for should some one enter, I cou’d never know.

Figaro.

If you must absolutely know, who this lovely Creature is, I’ll tell you, it is the Ward of your Guardian.

Rosina.

The Ward!

Figaro.

Of Doctor Bartholo.

Rosina, with emotion.

Oh fie, Mr. Figaro, I can’t believe you, indeed I don’t.

Figaro.

And he is dying with Impatience, to tell you so himself.

Rosina.

Oh dear, you make me tremble!

Figaro.

O you must not be frighten’d: Besides you are perfectly safe, I am just come from disposing of the Doctor’s Spies, and will answer for their good Behaviour during the next twenty-four Hours.

Rosina.

If he really loves me, he will shew it, by remaining perfectly at Rest.

Figaro.

Oh, Madam, can Love and Rest dwell in the same Breast?—The Youths of our Days are so unhappy as to have only this sad Alternative;—Love without Repose, or Repose without Love.

Rosina, looking down.

Repose without Love seems—

Figaro.

Extremely insipid, Love without Repose seems much more desireable; for my part, were I a Woman.

Rosina.

It is certain a young Person, cannot prevent a Gentleman having an Esteem for her; but if he is imprudent, Mr. Figaro, he will ruin us.

Figaro aside.

He will ruin us. [aloud] Would it not be well done to write him a Line or two to caution him? The least Hint from you would have great Weight.

Edition: current; Page: [19]
Rosina gives him the Letter she had wrote.

I have not Time to begin this over again, but when you deliver it, tell him—be sure to tell him.— [listens.

Figaro.

Nobody’s coming, I assure you Ma’am.

Rosina.

That what I do is from pure Friendship.

Figaro.

Oh that’s very plain, Love wears quite a different Aspect.

Rosina.

Yes indeed, pure Friendship! I only fear shou’d be dishearten’d by Difficulties, and—

Figaro.

Yes shou’d take Fire, you know, Madam, the same Wind that blows out a Light, will blow up Embers, and we are exactly like those Embers; for by talking only of his Passion, there exhaled such a Heat, that my Heart is almost in a Flame, tho’ only a Looker on!

Rosina.

Oh merciful! I hear my Guardian, if he should find you here; go thro’ the Closet my Harpsichord stands in, and slip thro’ the back Stairs as softly as possible.

Figaro.

Don’t be frighten’d. [aside] This is better than all my Observations. [he retires in the Closet.

SCENE III.

Rosina alone.

I die with Anxiety to know he got away safe; O how I like this good Figaro! He is so honest a Man, so kind a Relation; Ah! here comes my Tyrant; I must return to my Work.

[Blows out the Bougee, and sits to her Tambour.

SCENE IV.

Bartholo; Rosina.

Bartholo in a passion.

A Curse upon him for a knavish Scoundrel, that Pick-pocket Figaro; I cannot go out of my House without being certain on my Return.

Edition: current; Page: [20]
Rosina.

Lord, Sir, What makes you so angry?

Bartholo.

That infernal Barber has within this half Hour disabled every Servant I have, he has given a Narcotic to Sprightly, a Sternulative to Youthfull, bled Marcelina in the Foot, even my Mule has not escap’d him, he has clap’d a monstrous Cataplasm over the only Eye the poor Beast saw with; All this because he owes me a hundred Piasters and wants to swell his Bill; but let him come with it if he dare;—What not a Servant in the Anti-chamber? One comes in here with as little Ceremony, as into a public Market.

Rosina.

And who but yourself, can come in here?

Bartholo.

I’d rather be too cautious then too secure, this Town swarms with enterprizing Vagabonds;—even this Morning did not somebody pick up the Song you dropt, whilst I went down to look for it.

Rosina.

You delight in giving Consequence to Triffles, perhaps the Wind blew it away, or some chance Passenger found it.

Bartholo.

The Wind! Some chance Passenger! It is always one placed for the Purpose, who picks up the Papers a Woman affects to let drop, as by Accident.

Rosina.

Affects, Sir?

Bartholo.

Yes, Madam, affects.

Rosina aside.

Oh! the wicked old Wretch.

Bartholo.

But the like Misfortune won’t happen again; for I shall have these Bars secur’d immediately.

Rosina.

Do more, wall up the Windows, the Difference is but trifling, between a Prison and a Dungeon!

Bartholo.

As for those towards the Street, it would not perhaps be amiss; I hope the Barber did not enter your Apartment.

Rosina.

Does he also disturb your Rest?

Bartholo.

As much as any other.

Rosina.

Your Replies are exceeding polite!

Bartholo.

Aye, aye, trust every one, and you’ll soon have your House incomparably furnish’d, with a good Edition: current; Page: [21] Wife to cuckold you, good Friends to be her Gallants, and as good Servants for their Purpose.

Rosina.

What will you not allow one may have sufficient Principle to withstand the Seductions of Figaro?

Bartholo.

Who the Devil can comprehend these female Niceties?

Rosina angrily.

If every Man has sufficient Charms to please me, whence comes it, I have so unalterable an Aversion to you?

Bartholo vext.

Whence? Whence comes it? But you have not answer’d my Question about the Barber?

Rosina.

Know then he has been here, I saw him, spoke to him, and will not conceal to you that I found him very agreeable, and may you die with Spight at hearing of it. [Exit.

SCENE V.

Bartholo alone.

Oh the Rascals! the Dogs of Footmen! Youthfull? Sprightly? That cursed Sprightly!

SCENE VI.

Bartholo, Sprightly.

Sprightly comes in yawning and half asleep. Yah, yah, yah, yah!

Bartholo.

Where was you, you careless Scoundrel, when the Barber got in here?

Sprightly.

Sir,—Yah, yah, yah, yah, yah—

Bartholo.

Contriving some Mischief or other, I suppose, and so you did not see him?

Sprightly.

Indeed, but I did see him; and he found me very ill, as he told me, and I believe he was right; for as he spoke of it, I felt a Numbness in all my Limbs, just as he said I had, yah, yah, yah—

Bartholo counterfeiting him.

Yaw, yaw, yaw! Just as he said, Yah, yah, yah. Where is the Rascal Edition: current; Page: [22] Youthfull? What Business had this Fellow to give the Lad Medicines without my prescribing! There is some conceal’d Villainy.*

SCENE VII.

The preceding Actors.Youthfull comes in as an old Man leaning on his Stick. Sneezes several times.

Sprightly still yawning calls.

Youthfull.

Youthfull comes in sneezing.

Snee—

Bartholo.

Come hither, wilt thou never have done sneezing? Or wilt thou sneeze till Doomsday?

Youthfull.

I have sneezed above fif [sneezes] ty [sneezes] times [sneezes] in a Minute—this sneezing [sneezes] has almost shook me to pieces.

Bartholo.

How, how, I ask’d you both if any body had been into Rosina’s Apartments, and neither of you told me the Barber had.

Sprightly yawning.

Yaw,—Why as to Mr. Figaro I did not think he was anybody. Yah, yah, yaw.

Bartholo.

I would lay any Thing that artful Rogue, and this Puppy have an Understanding together.

Sprightly crying foolishly.

I, yah, I understand, yah, yah.

Youthfull sneezing.

But, Sir, is there any [sneezes] any Justice? [sneezes.

Bartholo.

Justice! What insolence, such Wretches to talk of Justice, ’tis well amongst yourselves; but I, I that am your Master insist on being right.

Youthfull sneezing.

But, Sir, When a Thing is true!

Bartholo.

If I will not have it so, it cannot be true; if once these Rascals are allowed to be right, all Authority will soon vanish, not a Shadow will remain e’er long.

Youthfull sneezing.

I [sneezes] had rather be paid [sneezes] my Wages, [sneezes] and turn’d off. [sneezes.

Edition: current; Page: [23]
Sprightly crying and yawning.

A yah! poor honest Yah, Man is treated—Yah, here like Yah, a Pick-pocket, yah, yah.

Bartholo.

Get from my Sight thou poor honest Man, and thou Chi, cha, chi, Damn ’em both for two Ideots, the one sneezes in my Face, while the other yawns instead of answering me.

Youthfull.

If it [sneezes] was not for La Signora, no Mortal could live a Half an Hour in your House.

[Exit sneezing.

SCENE VIII.

Bartholo, Don Bazile. Figaro concealed in the Closet, peeps out now and then and listens.

Bartholo.

Ah, Don Bazile, do you come to give Rosina her Lesson of Music?

Bazile.

That’s the least of my Business.

Bartholo.

I was at your House not long since, but did not find you there.

Bazile.

I was out upon your Business, and have learnt some disagreeable News.

Bartholo.

To you?

Bazile.

No, to you; Count Almaviva is in this Town.

Bartholo.

Speak softly, is it him that caus’d such researches after Rosina in Madrid?

Bazile.

The same. He has Lodgings in the great Square, and goes out every Day in disguise.

Bartholo.

Without doubt this Intelligence concerns me: What can be done?

Bazile.

If he was a private Person, one cou’d easily get him out of the Way.

Bartholo.

Yes, by keeping a close Watch for him every Night, and arm’d Cap-a-pee, with Dagger, Stilletto, Blunderbuss.

Edition: current; Page: [24]
Bazile.

Bone Deus! and so involve oneself in Mischief! No, no, a little Calumny properly managed may do much in the Business.

Bartholo.

That’s a strange Way to get rid of an Enemy!

Bazile.

Calumny, Sir! You are not acquainted with what you so much despise, I have known Persons of the most exalted Probity ready to sink under it, there is nothing too base, horrible or absurd for the idlers in a great City to believe, and we have People here of excellent Address for such an Undertaking. Who with a Shrug, a Nod, a Whisper, which only skims the surface of Malice, as a Swallow does the Earth before Rain,—pianissimo in gentle Murmurs, the poisonous Gale shedding its baneful Influence, where e’er it passes; then piano, piano, creeps into the Ear, there taking Root, sprouts and flourishes, and reinforzado from Mouth to Mouth, it spreads like Pestilence, then suddenly no one knows how, bursts forth with all its Horrors, and thank Heaven, becomes a public Crescendo, a popular Opinion, a general Chorus of Hatred and Proscription! Tell me then who can resist it?

Bartholo.

A fine Rigmarole truly, What the Devil has piano Crescendo to do with my Situation?

Bazile.

To do with your Situation? What is always done to drive away an Enemy, must now be done to prevent your’s from approaching.

Bartholo.

A Fig for Calumny! I hope to be married to Rosina before she can learn, there exists such a Being as the Count.

Bazile.

In that Case your have not a Moment to lose.

Bartholo.

And on whom else Bazile does it depend besides yourself? I have entrusted you with the Conduct of the whole Affair.

Bazile.

Yes, but your Restrictions as to Expence will retard it greatly; for in legal Harmony, an unequal Marriage, an iniquitous Decree, a fraudulent Conveyance, &c. are Discords, which must always be Edition: current; Page: [25] prepared and resolved by the perfect Accordance of Gold.

Bartholo, giving him Money.

Well, well, here you may proceed your own way, if you do but use Expedition.

Bazile.

Now you speak to the Purpose;—To-morrow all shall be compleated; but Care must be taken that no one gets Access to your Ward this Day.

Bartholo.

Oh! Trust me for that.—Pray will you come to Night?

Bazile.

Don’t expect me; your Marriage Articles will take me up the whole day—Don’t expect me.

Bartholo, accompanying him.

Your Servant.

Bazile.

Do not move; I pray you, Doctor, not to trouble yourself.

Bartholo.

Permit me, I want to shut the Door after you. [Exit.

SCENE IX.

Figaro, alone, coming out of the Closet.

A very wise Precaution! But I shall take the Liberty of opening it, that I may go out, and the Count come in. What a Villain is that Bazille! ’Tis happy for the World he’s as great a Fool as he’s a Knave. A Rank, a Character, a Family, or a fortune are necessary to a Calumniator; but Bazile is so insignificant, nay, has so contemptible a Character, that he may without Prejudice to any Body tell a Thousand Lyes, for no Mortal will believe one of them.

Edition: current; Page: [26]

SCENE X,

Enter Rosina, running.

Ah! What are you still here, Mr. Figaro?

Figaro.

Most fortunately for you, Ma’am; for your Guardian and Musick Master, supposing themselves safe from being heard, have been opening their Hearts.

Rosina.

And you listen’d to their Conversation;—Indeed, Figaro, it was very ill done.

Figaro.

It was the only way of hearing it.—Your Guardian intends you the Honour of his Hand Tomorrow.

Rosina.

Heavens! What shall I do?

Figaro.

Fear nothing, Signora; I promise you we will give him so much other Employment, that he shall have no Time to think of his Nuptials.

Rosina.

Go down the little Stair-case; you make me die with Fear. [Exit Figaro.

SCENE XI.

Enter Bartholo.

Rosina.

You had Somebody with you, Sir?

Bartholo.

’Twas Don Bazile I conducted to the Door for a particular Reason; you, I suppose, had rather it had been sweet Mr. Figaro.

Rosina.

’Tis perfectly alike to me, I can assure you.

Bartholo.

I should be glad to know what the Barber had of such Importance to converse with you upon?

Rosina.

If I must tell you, he came to give me an Account of poor Marcelina’s Health, who, he says, he found very poorly.

Edition: current; Page: [27]
Bartholo.

Give you an Account! more likely he came to deliver you some Letter.

Rosina.

And pray, Sir, from whom do you suppose it came?

Bartholo.

Oh, from whom! From such a one a Woman takes care never to name. How should I know? Perhaps a Reply to the Paper you had the Misfortune to drop out of the Window.

Rosina aside.

He has guessed very right. [aloud.] You deserve it should be so.

Bartholo, looking at her Fingers.

And it was so, and you have also been a writing.

Rosina, with Embarrassment.

It would be droll enough if you could make me agree with you, I did.

Bartholo, taking hold of her Hand.

No, not I; but the Ink is yet on your Fingers. Ha! artful Girl.

Rosina aside.

Cursed Man!

Bartholo.

A Woman supposes herself quite safe because she is alone. [takes hold of her Hand.

Rosina.

Oh! without Doubt a fine Proof indeed! Pray, Sir, have done; you wrench my Arm. In twisting up the little Bougee, I burnt my Finger, and dipt it in the Ink to cure it, for I have often heard ’twas a certain Cure.

Bartholo.

That’s what you have been about, is it? Now let us examine a second Witness, and see if he will confirm the Testimony of the first. How many Sheets of Paper have you here? I know there were six this Morning, for I counted them twice over.

Rosina aside.

Oh! how stupid! The Sixth.

Bartholo counting.

Three, four, five, Oh! Oh! the sixth Sheet is gone.

Rosina, with downcast Looks.

The Sixth? I made Use of it to wrap up some Sugar Plumbs I sent Figaro’s little Girl?

Bartholo.

To Figaro’s little Girl? That Pen was new this Morning: ’tis row half worn out; but that’s with writing the Direction to Figaro’s little Girl, I suppose.

Edition: current; Page: [28]
Rosina aside.

This Man has an Instinct of Jealousy. [aloud] I made Use of the Pen to draw a Flower in the Waistcoat I am embroidering for you on the Tambour.

Bartholo.

How ingenious! But when you wish to be believed, Child, do not blush at disguising repeatedly the Truth; you are not quite perfect in the Art.

Rosina.

And who can help blushing, when you draw such malicious Conclusions from the most innocent Actions?

Bartholo.

I certainly am in the Wrong. She burnt her Finger, dipt it in Ink to cure it, wrap’d up a Paper of Sugar Plumbs for Figaro’s little Girl, drew a Flower on my Waistcoat—What could be more innocent! How many Lyes heap’d on each other to veil a single Deed. I was alone, Nobody saw me, I am sure I may safely tell a Story; but the Finger remains ink’d, the Pen’s half worn out, the Paper missing. ’Tis impossible to think of every Thing; but most assuredly, Signora, when I go out again a double lock’d Door shall secure you.

SCENE XII.

Enter the Count dress’d as a Soldier, appears in Liquor, sings Part of a Song.

Bartholo.

What would this Man have? A Soldier! Go into your Closet, Rosina.

Count sings, and advances toward Rosina.

Which of you two Ladies is call’d Doctor Balordo? [Aside to Rosina] I am Lindor.

Bartholo.

I am Doctor Bartholo, Fellow.

Rosina, aside.

He nam’d Lindor, methinks.

Count.

Balordo or Barkholloa, it’s all one to me, only tell me which of you two is him. [To Rosina, shewing her a Paper] Take this Letter.

Edition: current; Page: [29]
Bartholo.

Which! Surely you may see it is I—Go in, Rosina; this Fellow’s in Liquor.

Rosina.

It is for that Reason I would stay; you are alone, and the Presence of a Woman may be a Restraint upon him.

Bartholo.

Go in; go in; I am not afraid. [Exit Rosina.

SCENE XIII.

Count.

Oh! I could not help knowing you, Doctor, for you answer perfectly your Description.

Bartholo, whilst the Count puts up a Letter. What’s that? What’s that you are hiding in your Pocket?

Count.

What! That which I hide is what I do not want you to see.

Bartholo.

By my Description: These Fellows always think they are speaking to their Comrades.

Count.

Do you think it then so difficult a Matter to describe you? List to the Description. [sings.

  • This famed Doctor may be known,
  • By shaking Head, and by bald Crown,
  • And by the Manners of a Clown.
Bartholo.

What do you mean? Are you come here to insult me? Get out of my House this Instant.

Count.

Get out of your House! Oh fie! That’s not very civil.—Can you read, Doctor?

Bartholo.

Another impertinent Question.

Count.

Oh! don’t let that put you out of Humour; for I that am at least as good a Physician as you—

Bartholo.

What do you say?

Count.

Say! That I am a Physician to all the Horses in the Regiment, and that was the Reason they billetted me, at a Brother Doctor’s.

Bartholo.

What? Dare compare me to a Farrier.

Edition: current; Page: [30]

Count sings.

  • CATCH.

  • Brother, sure you’re scarce awake,
  • I must no Precedence take,
  • Of the learned Sons of Galen:
  • For when they procure no Ease,
  • And cannot cure the Disease,
  • They take off the Person ailing.

[at the End of the Song.] Is not this very civil?

Bartholo.

It ill becomes an ignorant Maker of Horse Shoes to turn the most useful and learned Science into Ridicule.

Count.

Oh! very useful to its Practitioners.

Bartholo.

An Art whose Knowledge and Wonders the Sun shines to enlighten.

Count.

Whose Ignorance and Blunders our Mother Earth conceals.

Bartholo.

It is easily seen, you ill-bred Puppy, that you are accustomed to converse only with Horses.

Count.

Converse with Horses! Oh! Doctor, for so learned a Man as you are; is it not notorious that a Farrier cures his Patients without asking them a single Question, whilst Physicians ask theirs a Hundred?

Bartholo.

Without curing them you wou’d say?

Count.

It’s you, yourself who said it.

Bartholo.

Who the Devil could send me this cursed drunken Fellow to plague me?

Count.

I believe you are paying me Compliments.

Bartholo.

What Business brings you here? What do you want?

Count, feigning to be in a Passion.

Oh! So you are affronted—What do I want!—Cannot you see what I want?

Edition: current; Page: [31]

SCENE XIV.

Enter Rosina in haste.

Pray Mr. Soldier don’t be angry. [To Bartholo. Speak mildly to him, Sir, you see the Man is not sober.

Count.

You are in the Right, he is not sober, but we are! I am civil, and you are pretty, that’s enough; the Truth of the Matter is, I’ll have nothing to do in this House with any body but yourself.

Rosina.

Pray in what can I serve you, Mr. Soldier?

Count.

’Tis only a Trifle, and if I don’t explain myself fully.

Rosina.

I’ll catch your Meaning.

Count shewing a Letter.

No, rather stick to the Letter, to the Letter it only respects; but what I say is honourably and well meant; that you must give me a Bed to Night.

Bartholo.

Nothing else?

Count.

No, nothing more, but read this Billet-deux from our Quarter-master.

Bartholo.

Let’s see.

Count conceals the Letter, and gives him another Paper, the Doctor reads it. “Doctor Bartholo, shall receive, feed, and lodge—

Count repeats.

And lodge.

Bartholo continues.

“For one Night only, Lindor call’d the Student Grenadier of the Regiment—

Rosina.

’Tis him, ’tis himself.

Bartholo to Rosina.

What’s the Matter?

Count.

Well, who is wrong now Doctor Barbaro?

Bartholo.

One wou’d swear this Man took pleasure in disfiguring and playing the Devil with my poor Name, go to Hell with your Barbaro, and tell your impertinent Rascal of a Quarter-Master that since my journey to Madrid, I am exempt from lodging Troops.

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Count.

Heavens! what an unexpected Disappointment.

Bartholo.

Ah! ah! my Friend, you are disappointed; this sobers you a little; however, decamp this Instant.

Count,

[aside] I fear’d, I had betray’d myself. (aloud) Decamp! if you are exempted from lodging Troops, you are not from behaving with Civilty. Decamp! not till you produce your Brevet of Exemption, tho’ I can’t read, I shall soon see.

Bartholo.

I shall not want much time to produce it, it is in this Bureau.

Count,

while Bartholo goes, says without moving from his place. Ah! my lovely Rosina!

Rosina.

And is it you, Lindor?

Count.

Do but receive this Letter.

Rosina.

Take Care we are observ’d

Count approaching near her.

Take out your Handkerchief, and I’ll let it fall.

Bartholo.

Softly, softly, Mr. Soldier, I don’t chuse any one shou’d examine my Wife so near—

Count.

She your Wife?

Bartholo.

And what of that?

Count.

I thought you was her great Grandfather, I’m sure there is at least three Generations between you, and her.

Bartholo, reads a parchment.

Whereas upon true and faithful Report, made unto us—

Count knocks it out of his hand.

What need have I for all this Gibberish?

Bartholo.

Do you know, Soldier! If I call my Servants you will get the Treatment you deserve.

Count.

What are you for a Fight? With all my Heart, ’tis my profession (shewing the Pistol at his Girdle) this will scatter a little Powder in their eyes, perhaps Madam, you never saw a Battle.

Rosina.

No, nor do desire to see one.

Count.

There is nothing more diverting than a Battle [pushing the Doctor] first the Enemy is on one Side of the Ravelin, and the Friends on the other [to Edition: current; Page: [33] Rosina’s shewing her the Letter] pull out your Handkerchief [he spits] here’s the Ravelin, you understand.

Rosina pull’s out her Handkerchief, the Count drops the Letter between her and himself.

Bartholo stooping. Ah! Ah!

Count takes up the Letter again. Hold—I was going to teach you the Secrets of my art—a very discreet Wife indeed! is not this a love Letter she dropt out of her Pocket?

Bartholo.

Give it to me, give it to me?

Count.

Not quite so fast, Doctor, let every one mind his Business. If a dose of Rhubarb had fallen out of pocket do ye think?—

Rosina stretching her Hand. Oh! I know what it is Mr. Soldier. [puts it in a Pocket of her Apron.

Bartholo.

Will you leave this House by fair means?

Count.

I go; adieu Doctor, I bear you no Malice, and only in return beg you to do me a small Favour, that is to intercede with Death, to spare me a few Compaigns longer, for Life was ne’er before so dear to me.

Bartholo.

Get you gone, had I any interest with Death—

Count.

Oh, Doctor! you send him so many Recruits he can refuse you nothing. [Exit

SCENE XV.

Bartholo watching the Count go out.

I must dissemble. [aside.

Rosina.

You must allow, Sir, the young Soldier was very humorous; though in Liquor one could perceive he is well educated, and does not want for Wit.

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Bartholo.

Indeed, my lovely Dear, we are well quit of him; but have you no Curiosity to read the Paper he gave you?

Rosina.

What Paper?

Bartholo.

That which he pretended to find on the Floor, and gave to you.

Rosina.

Pooh! That was my Cousin’s Letter which fell out of my Pocket.

Bartholo.

I have a strong Notion he took it out of his own.

Rosina.

I directly knew what it was.

Bartholo.

It cannot be much trouble to look at it again?

Rosina.

I can’t even tell where I put it.

Bartholo pointing to her Pocket. You put it into that Pocket.

Rosina.

Oh, yes, I did without thinking of it.

Bartholo.

Oh to be sure, but you’ll see it is some piece of Nonsense.

Rosina aside.

Unless I make him angry, I see no refusal will do.

Bartholo.

Come Deary, do give it me.

Rosina.

What fancy have you taken now, Sir, to insist so strenuously, have you more Doubts? more Jealousy?

Bartholo.

And what Fancy have you taken, that you will not shew it.

Rosina.

I tell you again, Sir, that the Paper was nothing but my Cousin’s Letter, which you gave me Yesterday unseal’d, and now we are on this Subject, I must tell you plainly your taking such Liberty’s highly displeases me.

Bartholo.

I don’t understand you!

Rosina.

Do I ever open the Letters which come to you, wherefore then do you inspect those which are address’d to me; if Jealousy is your Motive, it is an Insult; if it is to shew the Extent of an usurp’d Authority, ’tis an Abuse of it to which I never will submit.

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Bartholo.

How? not submit; your Language, is intirely new.

Rosina.

If I have till now conceal’d my just Resentment it was not with an Intention of suffering you to continue insulting me unreprehended.

Bartholo.

Of what Insult are you Talking?

Rosina.

The unparallel’d one of opening a Person’s Letters.

Bartholo.

The Letters of my Wife?

Rosina.

’Tis what I am not yet; and if ’twere so wou’d such a relationship gain me a preference to receive Indignities, which you durst not offer a Stranger?

Bartholo.

I see these Complaints are design’d to withdraw my Attention from the Letter, which I am convinc’d came from a Lover, and therefore will see it I assure you.

Rosina.

You never shall, and if you dare approach me, I instantly will fly from this detested Prison, and beg protection of some pitying Stranger.

Bartholo.

And not meet with it.

Rosina.

At least I’ll try.

Bartholo.

Thank Heaven we are not in England, were Women are always in the right, but effectually to banish such romantick Notions from your Brains I’ll go and lock the Door.

Rosina, while Bartholo goes out. Oh Heavens! what shall I do? ’tis best to change it for my Cousin’s Letter, and by resisting, encrease his Curiosity and Disappointment. [she changes the Letters putting that from her Cousin into her Pockot with one corner out.

Bartholo returns.

I hope after all you will let me see it.

Rosina.

By what Right, pray do you expect I shou’d?

Bartholo.

By the acknowledg’d one of superior Strength.

Rosina.

You shall sooner take Life.

Bartholo stamping with anger. Madam, Madam!

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Rosina throws herself in a Chair, seeme to faint. Ah! what Indignity!

Bartholo.

Give me the Letter directly or dread my anger!

Rosina leaning back.

Unfortunate Rosina!

Bartholo.

What is the Matter?

Rosina.

To what Miseries, am I doom’d!

Bartholo.

Rosina!

Rosina.

I die with Rage!

Bartholo.

She is not well, she faints.

Rosina.

Oh! I die, I die.!

Bartholo aside.

Oh! here is the letter! I’ll read it without her knowledge [feels her Pulse and takes the Letter which he tries to read.

Rosina still in the same Attitude. Oh! unhappy me!

Bartholo.

What an unaccountable Desire one has to discover that which one dreads to know!

Rosina.

Oh! wretched Rosina!

Bartholo.

The too free Use of Perfumes are very apt to occasion these spasmodic Affections [he reads the Letter, which he finds is from her Cousin.

[Rosina looks slyly at him, and takes no Notice.

Bartholo aside.

The Letter is really her Cousin’s! Cursed Suspicion! How shall I pacify her Rage? ’Tis well she does nor know I’ve read it. [he seems to support Rosina, and puts back the Letter into her Pocket.

Rosina sighs.

Ah!

Bartholo.

Well, Child, I hope all’s over; you’ll soon be well; your Illness was nothing but Hysterics: I felt your Pulse—it did not alter in the least.

[he goes to reach a Vial off of the Drawers.

Rosina.

Oh! ’Tis well, he has put the Letter again into my Pocket.

Bartholo.

My dear Rosina, take a few of these Drops.

Rosina.

Not from your Hand; pray leave me.

Bartholo.

Oh! forgive me; I confess I was too intent on seeing the Letter; I should not have been so importunate.

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Rosina.

The Letter itself was of no Consequence; but your Manner of requiring my Compliance is past Forgiveness.

Bartholo on his Knees.

I feel I was to blame, and here upon my Knees I beg your Pardon.

Rosina.

My Pardon, when you won’t believe that the Letter was from my Cousin!

Bartholo.

Let the Letter come from whence it will I don’t care; I won’t suffer you to say any more about it.

Rosina, presenting him the Letter. There I willingly grant to your request what your Commands should ne’er have forced from me.

Bartholo.

This generous Behaviour dissipates my Suspicions, and convinces me how much I was to blame ever to entertain any on your Conduct.

Rosina.

There, Sir, pray read it.

Bartholo.

God forbid I shou’d do thee so much Injustice!

Rosina.

You vex me by refusing.

Bartholo.

As a Reparation for my Fault, receive this Mark of my Confidence; I’m going to see poor Marcelina, whom that Knave Figaro (I don’t know why) let Blood in the Foot to Day—Won’t you come with me?

Rosina.

I will follow you in a Moment.

Bartholo.

Come, my Darling, since the Peace is made between us, give me thy Hand to seal it; if thou can’st but love me, how happy wilt thou be!

Rosina.

If you could but please me, how I would love you!

Bartholo.

I will please thee, my Duck; I will please thee; believe me, I will please thee. [Exit.

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SCENE XVI.

Rosina observing him go, cries out.

Ah! Lindor, he says he will please me! I will read this Letter, which had like to have caused me so much Trouble. Oh! I’ve read too late; he advises me to have an open Quarrel with my Guardian, and I have just let an excellent one escape me! When I received his Letter I felt my Blushes rise. Ah! My Guardian is right, I am very far from having that Art and Knowledge of the World which brings Women through so many Difficulties; but Necessity and a Tyrant would make Innocence itself outplot a Machiavel.

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ACT III.

SCENE I.

Bartholo alone and distress’d.

WHAT a Temper! What a Temper! I thought she was appeased; who the Devil now could put it in her Head to take no more Lessons of Don Bazile? She knows to be sure I have charg’d him to settle every Thing necessary for our Wedding. [a Knock at the Door] Do all you can to please a Woman, if you omit one single Trifle—I say only a Trifle—[second Knock] Who can be now a coming?

SCENE II.

Enter Count, dressed like a Batchelor of Arts.

May Peace and Happiness e’er dwell within these Walls!

Bartholo, abruptly. Ne’er was to me a Wish more desirable;—What is your Will?

Count.

Sir, my Name is Alonzo, Batchelor licentiate.

Bartholo.

I have no need of a Preceptor.

Count.

A Pupil of Don Bazile, Organist of the Grey Friars and black Nuns, who has the Honour to teach la Signora—

Bartholo.

Bazile! Organist! Who has the Honour! I know it; but to your Business.

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Count.

aside What a Man.—A sudden Illness has confin’d him to his Bed.

Bartholo.

Bazile confin’d to his Bed! I am glad he sent, I’ll this instant go and see him.

Count aside.

The Devil—When I said to his Bed, Sir, I meant only to his Room.

Bartholo.

No Matter, let his Indisposition be ever so trifling, I’ll go instantly and visit him, go tell him so, I’ll follow you.

Count perplex’d.

I was only commission’d, Sir, but pray can no one hear us?

Bartholo aside.

This man has all the appearance of an Impostor—No, Sir, there needs no Mystery! compose yourself if you can, and let’s hear what you have to say.

Count aside.

What a sly old Villain!—Don Bazile desired me to inform you—

Bartholo.

Speak louder, for I am deaf of one Ear.

Count, raising his Voice. Oh most willingly, that Count Almaviva, who lodges in the Square—

Bartholo frightened. Speak lower, speak lower!

Count, still louder. Has left his Lodgings this Morning, and as it was me, who had inform’d him that Count Almaviva

Bartholo.

Speak lower; I pray you will speak lower.

Count, in the same tone. Was in this Town, and I have discover’d that Signora Rosina has wrote to him.

Bartholo.

Wrote to him, did you say! My dear Friend speak lower, I beseech you! let us sit down and talk without reserve on this Subject, you say you have discover’d that Rosina

Count, haughtily. Certainly I have! Bazile uneasy on your account, at this Discovery, desired me to shew you her Letter, but the Reception you give me—

Bartholo.

For Heaven’s sake don’t be angry! for I meant no Offence; but prithee cannot you speak Edition: current; Page: [41] more softly? I have particular Reasons for making you this Request.

Count.

Why, I thought you said you were deaf of one Ear.

Bartholo.

Oh pardon, pardon me, Signor Alonzo, If I receiv’d you with Coldness and Distrust; but I am so surrounded with the Snares of designing Men,—and then your Figure, Age, Manner, Air, in short, your whole Person wou’d justify Suspicions in a Stranger, which I hope you’ll pardon—and you say you saw the Letter?

Count.

Make no further Apologies I am satisfy’d, Sir, but are you sure no one can hear us?

Bartholo.

Alas! who should? all my Servants are laid up: Rosina flown to her Room in a Passion: some Evil Genius has certainly turn’d my House topsyturvy: but to be more certain, I’ll go and assure myself no one is near.

[goes softly to Rosina’s Door.]

Count aside.

What a Scrape have I now got into—and how shall I avoid shewing the Letter! to retreat; I might as well not have come. If I could but inform Rosina of it; the shewing it would be a Master piece.

Bartholo, returns on Tiptoes. She’s sitting near the Window, Reading [the Letter I broke open from her Cousin—you may now with all safety shew me her’s.—

Count gives him Rosina’s Letter. Here it is.—

[aside] he certainly mistook my Letter, for her Cousin’s.

Bartholo reads. “Since you have inform’d me of your Name and Condition”—How treacherous! I’m certain ’tis her Hand writing.

Count, frighten’d. You should, speak softly.

Bartholo.

What Obligations am I under?

Count.

Forbear mentioning at present: when every Thing is over you may then—from the Business Don Bazile is now upon with a Lawyer.

Bartholo.

With a Lawyer! ’tis concerning my Marriage.

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Count.

No Doubt it is, he desired me to tell you every Thing wou’d be ready to-morrow; if she shou’d still be obstinate.

Bartholo.

She certainly will.

Count.

wants to take back the Letter, Bartholo puts it up. Now is the Time to serve you; well produce her Letter, and if necessary [with a mysterious Lok] I’ll even say that I had it from a Woman to whom the Count made a Sacrifice of it; you conceive that Shame, Confusion, and Spight, may dispose her directly to—

Bartholo laughing. What Calumny! I am now satisfied, my Friend, ’twas Don Bazile sent you, but that it might not seem concerted, wou’d it not be better, she first were acquainted with you?

Count endeavouring to conceal his Joy. Don Bazile thought it would have been better; but how can we do that? it is so late and there is so little Time left.

Bartholo.

I shall say he sent you to give her a Lesson, you can do that no Doubt!

Count.

There is nothing but I’ll do to oblige you, but take care she does not suspect any Thing; for the stale Story of a supposed Master is common in every Play.

Bartholo.

My introducing you to her can cause no Suspicion of the Kind; you have more the Appearance of a Lover in Disguise, than an officious Friend.

Count.

Really! do you think my Appearance can favour the Deceit?

Bartholo.

I wou’d lay any Wager, the most knowing Ones might be mistaken by it; besides, she is horridly out of Humour this Evening; however if she cou’d but see you—her Harpsichord is in this Closet, amuse yourself whilst I go try every Means to bring her hither.

Count.

Beware not to mention the Letter to her.

Bartholo.

No, not till it is Time to do it, it wou’d be without Effect; a Hint to me is sufficient. [Exit.

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SCENE III.

Count alone.

Now I am safe. How hard it is to deal with this Man? ah, Figaro knows him well; the being forc’d to tell so many Lyes made me act very aukwardly; then his Eyes are so watchful! that truly had I not been inspired with the Thought of producing the Letter, I own I must have decamp’d and should have look’d like a Fool! but I think I hear them quarrelling, if she shou’d persist in not leaving the Room—I’ll listen—she refuses to come, and now all the Fruit of my Stratagem is lost. [goes again to listen] Oh! she’s now a coming; I’ll not shew myself so suddenly [goes in the Closet]

SCENE IV.

Rosina in a seign’d Passion.

Indeed all you can say, Sir, is to no Purpose, I’ll hear no more of Music, I am resolv’d—

Bartholo.

Prithee, my Love, be persuaded, ’tis Signor Alonzo the Pupil and Friend of Don Bazile, whom he has chosen to be one of our Witnesses—attend to him, Music will calm thy Soul, I assure thee.

Rosina.

’Tis in vain to think of it; for if I sing to Night—pray where is that Music Master you so much fear to send back? I’ll soon send him about his Business, as well as Bazile [perceiving her Lover screams] Ah!

Bartholo.

What’s happen’d to you, Child?

Rosina pressing her Hands to her Bosom in agitotion. Oh dear! Oh dear! Sir!

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Bartholo.

I fear she will faint, Signor Alonzo!

Rosina.

Oh, no—I am not fainting but in turning, Oh!

Count.

You strain’d your Ankle, Madam.

Rosina.

Yes, I have strain’d my Ankle, and have hurt myself terribly.

Count.

Oh, I perceiv’d it, Madam.

Rosina looking at the Count. The Pain I felt, went to my Heart.

Bartholo.

A Seat, a Seat—what, not an Arm-Chair in the Room! [goes for one.

Count.

Ah, Rosina!

Rosina.

What Imprudence!

Count.

I have a Thousand things of Consequence to tell you.

Rosina.

But he will not leave us.

Count, Figaro will come to our Assistance.

Bartholo brings an Arm-Chair. Here Darling sit down, ’tis not likely Signor she can take a Lesson this Evening, it must be for another time, farewell.

Rosina to the Count. No wait, my Pain is a little eas’d.

To Bartholo. I acknowledge I was wrong to Dispute with you, Sir, will imitate you, in making immediate amends by—

Bartholo.

Oh the best natur’d of Women! but after having such a Fright, I will not suffer you Child to make the least Effort—good Night, Signor, good Night.

Rosina to the Count. Stop a Moment I pray.

To Bartholo. I shall think you won’t oblige me, if you prevent me from shewing You, by taking my Lesson, how sorry I am to—

Count to Bartholo. If you take my Advice, you will not oppose her Inclination.

Bartholo.

I have done my Lamb, and am so far from disobliging thee, that I will stay while thou tak’st thy Lesson.

Rosina.

Do not constrain yourself, Sir, I know that to you Music has no Charms.

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Bartholo.

Believe me thy Voice will enchant me to Night.

Rosina aside to the Count. I’m on the Rack.

Count takes a piece of Music. Is this what you wou’d sing, Madam?

Rosina.

Oh! Yes; ’tis a charming Part in Labour in Vain.

Bartholo.

Nothing but Labour in Vain.

Count.

’Tis the newest Piece we have; it’s an Image of Spring, that’s very lively—Will you try it, Madam?

Rosina, looking at the Count. With great Pleasure—An Image of Spring is to me ravishing; ’tis the Bloom of Nature leaving Winter; the Heart seems to acquire a higher Degree of Sensibility: as the Raptures of a poor Slave, that has long experienced the Hardships of Bondage, when the Charms of Liberty are offer’d him.

Bartholo, in a low Voice to the Count. Her Head is always full of romantic Notions.

Count.

Do you feel the Force of their Application?

Bartholo.

Do I feel them! [aside] Damnation!

[goes and sits in the Arm Chair Rosina sat in.

Rosina sings.

  • Rosina’s Song.

  • See, Lovers, see on yonder Plain.
  • Gay Spring appears!—And once again
  • Young Cupid comes with jocund Train!
  • To Nature he new Life imparts,
  • While Fruits, and Flow’rs, and Lovers Hearts
  • All feel his pow’rful pleasing Darts.
  • All Nature now seems chearful, glad, and gay,
  • Save poor Lindor. who casts no Thought away;
  • Nor does he harbour one within his Breast,
  • Save how to make the much-lov’d Object blest.
  • Edition: current; Page: [46]
    • Whilst she returns his ardent Love,
    • With Smiles rewards her Lindor’s Pain;
    • Lovers like these must surely prove
    • A Guardian’s Labour is in Vain.
    • For when two Hearts are join’d in one,
    • (By Cupid join’d, by Venus blest)
    • Too firm the sacred Knot to be undone
    • By all the Labour of a jealous Breast.
Count.

The Music is really charming; and Signora has executed it with superior Skill.

Rosina.

You flatter me, Sir; the Praise is wholly due to my Master.

Bartholo, Yawning. I believe I nodded a little during this fine Piece; I have my Patients, and am oblig’d to run here and there, and spin like a Top—Then as soon as I set down to rest, my poor weary Limbs— [gets up, and pushes the Chair.

Rosina, in a low Voice to the Count. Figaro does not come.

Count, to Rosina, in a low Voice. Spin out the Time.

Bartholo.

But, Batchelor, I have often desired Don Bazile to teach her Songs which are more gay than those grand Compositions which go from one End of the Harpsichord to the other, drawling he, ho, ha, ha, haa, and are like so many funeral Dirges. When I was young, there were lively little Songs, which were easily learnt, I could have sung them myself; for Example.

  • Bartholo Sings.

  • Buy a Bargain, Rosinette;
  • Buy a Husband for a Pet.
  • Tol, lol, de lol.
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[During the Repetition he sings, scratching his Head, and snapping his Fingers, and shaking his Knees, as if dancing.

To the Count. It is Francinette in the Song; but to render it more agreeable and suitable to my present Circumstances, I chang’d it for Rosinetta’s. [laughs] Ha! Ha! Ha!—An’t I right—Isn’t it the Tune?

Count, laughing. Ha! Ha! Ha! Excellent indeed!

SCENE V.

Figaro at the End of the Stage.

Bartholo sings the Whole of the CATCH.

  • CATCH.

  • Buy a Bargain, Rosinette,
  • Buy a Husband for a Pet;—
  • There’s one now, e’en in this House,
  • Who will make a charming Spouse;
  • He’s no sighing Swain, ’tis true,
  • Yet not the worse, my Girl, for you;
  • He’s a buxom, jovial Wight,
  • Not one made to shock the Sight;
  • And remember what they say,
  • All Cats in the Night are grey.

[In singing the Burden of the Songs he dances. Figaro mimicks him behind his Back. He’s a Buxom, &c.

[Perceiving the Barber. Oh! Come in, come in, Mr. Barber—You are a pretty Fellow indeed.

Figaro, bowing. Indeed, ’tis what my Mother has often told me formerly; but I’m greatly alter’d since that Time. [Aside to the Count. Bravo, my Lord.

[During all this Scene the Count endeavours to speak to Rosina; but the ever-watchful Eye of the Guardian prevents them; which forms a dumb Scene between all the Actors, foreign to the Debate between Figaro and the Doctor.

Edition: current; Page: [48]
Bartholo.

Are you come to disturb all my Servants again with your Lancet and Drugs?

Figaro.

Oh! Every day is no Holiday, nor have I always Leisure for such Undertakings; but not to mention my daily Assiduity, you must be sensible, Sir, that when an Opportunity offers to do you Service, my Zeal does not wait for Orders.

Bartholo.

Your Zeal don’t wait?—What will you say of your Zeal to that poor Fellow who yawns and sleeps as he stands; and the other, who for these three Hours sneezes enough to shiver his Pericranium, and shatter his Brains to Atoms?—What will you say to them?

Figaro.

What will I say to them?

Bartholo.

Ay.

Figaro.

Why, I’ll say to him that sneezes, God bless you; and go to bed, to him that yawns.—Won’t that be proper? I am sure at least it will neither hurt them, nor swell your Bill.

Bartholo.

No truly, but Bleeding and Medicines would, if I were Fool enough to pay for them.—It was out of Zeal too, I suppose, that you wrap’d up my blind Mule’s Head with your Cataplasm.

Figaro.

Well, if that does not restore her Sight, you cannot say that will make her lose it.

Bartholo.

If I see that Article on your Bill I’ll—I’ll submit to no such Imposition.

Figaro.

By my Faith, Sir, there’s but small Choice between a Fool and a Madman, and where I can’t get Profit, I’ll at least have Amusement; let’s be merry while we may, God knows whether the World will stand a Month longer.

Bartholo.

You had better, Mr. Logician, cease attempting to bamboozle me: and pay me my hundred Piasters, with Interest, which you owe me.

Figaro.

Do you doubt my Honour, Sir?—I had rather owe them you all my Life than once deny it.

Bartholo.

Pray tell me how did your little Girl like the Sugar Plumbs you carried home to her?

Figaro.

What Sugar Plumbs do you mean?

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Bartholo.

Those Sugar Plumbs you carried Home to her in a Sheet of Writing paper.

Figaro.

The Devil take me if—

Rosina, interrupting him. I hope you did not forget Figaro to tell her I sent them—I gave you repeated Charge to do so.

Figaro.

Aye, aye, the Sugar Plumbs this Morning: I am the most stupid Blockhead that ever was, it had quite flip’d my Memory, oh! they were excellent, she liked them mightily.

Bartholo.

Recollect yourself, Mr. Barber, you have began an incomparable Business—

Figaro.

What Business, pray Sir?

Bartholo.

By which you’ll acquire a fine Character.

Figaro.

I’ll defend it, Sir—

Bartholo.

Say you’ll deserve it, Sir—

Figaro.

As you please, Sir.

Bartholo.

You take the Matter in a very high Strain, but know that when I dispute with an ignorant Fellow I always maintain my Point.

Figaro turning his Back on him. In this we differ, for in that Case I always give up mine.

Bartholo.

Ha! what’s that he says, Batchelor?

Figaro.

You imagine I presume you have to deal with some Country Barber, who packs up his Knowledge in his Razor-Case? but know, Sir, that I have work’d with my Pen in Madrid, and had not envious People—

Bartholo.

Why did you leave it, and come here to take up a new Trade?

Figaro.

One does the best one can, put yourself in my Place.

Bartholo.

I should talk very absurdly, if I were Figaro—I think you don’t make a bad Beginning as it is, I’ll appeal for that to your Brother Doctor, who stands there in Contemplation,—

Count recollecting himself. I—I am not of the Fraternity.

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Figaro.

No: I beg Pardon, but seeing you here in Conference with the Doctor, I imagin’d your Pursuits were the same.

Bartholo in a passion. To have done with your Impertinence, pray what Business brings you here—have you any Letters to deliver to Signora? must I leave the Room?

Figaro.

How harshly you treat your Dependants! why, Sir, I am come to shave you; is not this shaving-day?

Bartholo.

You must call again by and by.

Figaro.

That’s impossible! To-morrow the whole Garrison is to be purg’d, I have by my interest obtain’d the Jobb, and I leave you to judge, if I have Time to lose—Will you step into your dressing Room?

Bartholo.

No, Sir, I do not chuse to go in my dressing Room, why can’t you shave me here?

Rosina, with disdain. You are really very civil, why surely you wou’d not be shav’d in my Appartment?

Bartholo.

Nay, my Lamb, don’t be angry: you have your Lesson to finish, and I am unwilling to lose an Instant the Pleasure of hearing you.

Figaro to the Count, in a low Voice. There will be no getting him from hence. Come Sprightly, Youthfull, bring the Bason, Water and every thing necessary for your Master’s shaving.

Bartholo.

Your calling them will be to some Purpose to be sure, when you forced them to their Bed by your devilish Medicines.

Figaro.

Well then I’ll wait on myself, are not the things in your Chamber?—[asile] this will draw him out of the Room.

Bartholo unties a Bunch of Keys, and as if upon second Thoughts. No, no, I’ll go myself. [to the Count low. Have an Eye upon him I pray? [Exit.

Edition: current; Page: [51]

SCENE VI.

The same Actors.

Figaro.

What a fine Opportunity is lost! He was going to give me the Keys—Is not that of the Jealousie among them?

Rosina.

Yes; ’tis the newest of all.

SCENE VII.

Bartholo aside.

Goodness! I don’t know what I was thinking of, to leave the Room while this cursed Barber is in it! [gives him the Bunch of Keys]—In my Closet upon the Bureau; but don’t touch any Thing.

Figaro.

A Plague upon you, Sir; you are so suspicious, that to do it would be a good Action.—[to the Count, aside. See how Heaven protects Innocence. [Exit.

SCENE VIII.

Bartholo low to the Count.

That is the Rascal who carried her Letter to the Count.

Count, low to him. He has a very knavish look.

Bartholo.

He shall not catch me again.

Count.

I believe, as to that, he has done his worst.

Bartholo.

All things considered, I thought it safer to send him to my Room than leave him here with her.

Count.

I wou’d have taken Care to hear every Word they shou’d have said to each other.

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Rosina.

You are very polite, Gentlemen, to whisper continually; and my Lesson—

[A Noise of breaking China is heard.

Bartholo screams.

What Noise is that? This hellish Barber has thrown every Thing I have down Stairs, and broke my best Piece of China.

[runs out.

SCENE IX.

Count.

Let us avail ourselves of the precious Instant, which Figaro’s Policy has procured us; allow me to Night, I conjure you, a Moment’s Conference indispensably necessary to secure you from the Slavery of which you are on the Brink.

Rosina.

Ah! Lindor!

Count.

I can climb up to your Jealousie; as for the Letter I received from you this Morning, I was absolutely oblig’d—

SCENE X.

Enter Figaro and Bartholo.

Bartholo.

I was not mistaken, every thing is broke to shatters.

Figaro.

See the great Misfortune here’s so much Noise about!—It’s as dark as Pitch ou the Stairs.—[Shewing the Key to the Count] As I was running up, my Sleeve caught on a Key.

Bartholo.

Hooked by a Key! You should have taken better Care; but you ever are wonderfully handy.

Figaro.

Faith, Sir, you may look for one that’s more so.

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SCENE XI.

Enter Don Bazile.

Rosina, frightened, aside. Don Bazile!

Count, aside. Heavens!

Figaro, aside. This is the Devil.

Bartholo goes to meet him. Ah! My dear Friend, I am glad to see you so well recovered; your Illness was of no long Continuance: Signor Alonzo alarm’d me greatly on your Account. Ask him if I was not just coming to make you a Visit, if he had not stopt me—

Bazile amaz’d. Signor Alonzo!

Figaro, siamping with his Foot. Always some Delays; two Hours Attendance for one paltry Beard—What a tiresome Customer!

Bazile, looking around. Will you do me the Favour to tell me the Gentleman?

Figaro.

You will have full Leizure when I am gone.

Bazile.

But at least I may—

Count.

You may hold your Tongue; do you suppose you can tell Signor Bartholo any Thing he does not already know—I told him you sent me to give a singing Lesson in your Stead.

Bazile, more amaz’d. A Lesson of Singing!—Alonzo!

Rosina, aside to Bazile. Can’t you hold your Tongue?

Bazile.

And she too!

Count, low to Bartholo. Whisper to him, that we have settled the Plan.

Bartholo, to Bazile, aside. Do not contradict us, or deny he is your Pupil, it would spoil all.

Bazile.

Ah! Ah!

Bartholo, aloud. It’s impossible to find a Person possess’d of more Talents than your Pupil.

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Bazile, stupefied. Than my Pupil!—[low] I came to tell you the Count has left his Lodgings.

Bartholo, low. I know it—be silent.

Bazile, low. Who told you so?

Bartholo, low. Why him, to be sure.

Count, low. It was I, to be sure—Do you only listen.

Rosina, low to Bazile. Do you find it so difficult to hold your Tongue?

Figaro, low, to Bazile. Hush! Great Booby—He is deaf.

Bazile aside. Who the Devil is it they would cheat here! Every one is in the Secret!

Bartholo aloud. Well, Bazile!—And the Lawyer!

Figaro. You will have all the Evening to talk about your Lawyer.

Bazile, bewildered. About the Lawyer!

Count, smiling. You have not seen the Lawyer?

Bazile, out of Patience. Why, no, I have not seen the Lawyer.

Count, to Bartholo aside. What, wou’d you have him explain himself here before her? Try to send him away.

Bartholo, low, to the Count. You are in the Right.—[to Bazile] But the sudden Illness with which you were seized—Of what Nature was it?

Bazile, in a Passion. I don’t understand you.

Count, slipping a Purse in his Hand. Yes, Signor Bartholo asks, why you ventured abroad in your present bad State of Health?

Figaro.

He is as pale as Death.

Bazile.

Oh! I understand.

Count.

Go to Bed, my dear Bazile; you are not well, and we are alarm’d to see you look so ill:---Go to Bed,

Figaro.

His Countenance is totally chang’d.

Bartholo.

He has a Fever one cou’d smell at a League’s Distance.

Rosina.

’Tis said Fevers are infectious;—why did you come here?—Pray go to Bed.

Bazile, in the greatest Surprise. I go to Bed!

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All the Actors together. Certainly, certainly!

Bazile, looking round at them. Truly, Gentlemen, I believe I had better retire; for I am not by any Means at Ease at present.

Bartholo.

Tomorrow, I hope, if you are better—

Count.

Bazile, I will call on you very early.

Figaro.

Take my Advice, get into a warm Bed as soon as possible—

Rosina.

Good Night, Mr. Bazile.

Bazile, to himself. The Devil take me if I comprehend what they all mean, and was it not for this Purse—

All.

Good Night, Bazile—good Night.

Bazile, going. Well then, since it must be so, good Night. [Exit They all conduct him laughing to the Side of the Scenes.

SCENE XII.

Bartholo, with an Air of Consequence. That Man is far from being well.

Rosina.

His Eyes look quite wild.

Count.

The Night Air has certainly hurt him.

Figaro.

Did you observe how he mutter’d to himself? What frail Mortals are we! [to Bartholo] Are you ready? [pushes the Arm Chair from the Count, and offers the shaving Cloth.

Count.

Before I conclude, I must tell you, Signora, something very essential to your Progress in the Art which I have the Honour of teaching you.

[draws nearer, and whispers to her.

Bartholo, to Figaro. But you place yourself directly before me; as if on Purpose to prevent my seeing.

Count, softly to Rosina. We have the Key, and will be here at Midnight.

Figaro puts the Cloth round Bartholo’s Neck. What wou’d you see? Was’t a dancing Lesson well and good; but you don’t hear with your Eyes, do you? Ay, ay.—

Edition: current; Page: [56]
Bartholo.

What’s the Matter?

Figaro.

I don’t know what has got into my Eye.

[Puts his Head closer.

Bartholo.

Don’t rub it.

Figaro.

Here, ’tis my left, pray do me the Favour to blow in it.

[Bartholo takes hold of Figaro’s Head, and looks over it; pushes him violently, and goes to listen to the Lovers Conversation.

Count, low, to Rosina. As to your Letter, I found so many Obstacles to my staying here—

Figaro, to give them Notice. Hem! Hem!

Count.

And fearful this new Disguise shou’d be rendered useless—

Bartholo, stepping between ’em. This new Disguise shou’d be render’d useless!

Rosina, frighten’d. Ah!

Bartholo.

Very well, Signora, don’t constrain yourself. What in my Presence, before my eyes, to injure me so grosly!

Count.

What is the matter with you Signor?

Bartholo.

Treacherous Alonzo!

Count.

Indeed, Signor Bartholo, if you often take such Vagaries as this I have just been a Witness to, I am not surpris’d at the Aversion Signora Rosina shews at the Thought of becoming your Wife.

Rosina.

I become his Wife! To pass my Hours with a jealous Dotard, and waste my youthful Days of Joy and Pleasure in Slavery and Confinement!

Bartholo.

What do I hear?

Rosina.

Yes, aloud I say it, my Hand, my Heart shall be for him who frees me from this detested prison, where my Person and my Fortune are detain’d against all Laws both human and divine. [Exit.

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SCENE XIII.

Bartholo.

I am choak’d with Rage.

Count.

Indeed, Sir, it’s impossible that a young Woman—

Figaro.

Yes, a great Age and a young Wife perplex an old Man confoundedly.

Bartholo.

How! when I catch her in the Fact!—Cursed Barber!—I have a great Mind to—

Figaro.

I’ll be gone, for he is mad.

Count.

So will I;—Upon Honour he’s mad.

Figaro.

Oh! He is mad! He is mad as a March Hare, ’fore Heaven! [Both exit.

SCENE XIV.

Bartholo alone, goes after them.

I am mad!—Eh! Cursed Procurers! Satan’s Emissaries, of which you have here filled the Office! May he tear you Limb from Limb!—I’m mad!—I saw it as plain as I do that Musick Book, and to deny it so audaciously!—Oh! Bazile alone can explain this Mystery—I’ll send for him—Holloa! Who’s there? Ah me! I forgot I have nobody here.—Neighbours!—Oh! any Body!—No Matter—It’s enough to turn one’s Brain!—It’s enough to turn one’s Brain in good earnest!

[During these two Acts the Scene grows dark, the Noise of a Storm is heard, and the Orchestra plays, viz.—the Storm Piece in the Music.

End of the Third Act.
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ACT IV.

SCENE I.

Bartholo, and Don Bazile with a dark Lanthorn.

Bartholo (the Stage is dark.)

YOU say you do not know him Bazile? can that be possible?

Bazile.

You may repeat the Question an hundred Times if you please; but I’m sure I can give you no other Answer, if he gave you Rosina’s Letter he is doubtless one of the Count’s Cabal, were I to judge from the magnificence of his Present, I should suspect it was the Count himself.

Bartholo.

That’s true, how came you to accept his present?

Bazile.

You seem’d to consent, I was no ways in the Secret, and in difficult Cases, a Purse of Gold is to me an unanswerable Argument; besides the Proverb says, that which is good to take is good to—

Bartholo.

I understand you, is good to—

Bazile.

To keep.

Bartholo.

How, how!—

Bazile.

Oh, I have improv’d many old Proverbs, by the most trifling Alteration, but to Business; what have you resolv’d on,

Bartholo.

In my Place, wou’d not you try every effort to possess her?

Bazile.

No, in truth, I wou’d not, for some wou’d be dangerous, and after all mere Possession is a small Edition: current; Page: [59] Benefit; ’tis enjoyment which in my Opinion, yields Pleasure, and to marry a Woman in your Case with out being sure of her Affections would be exposing yourself to—

Bartholo.

You wou’d fear being a—

Bazile.

Why really from the Multitudes there have been this year, it must be a prevalent Fashion: I vow I wou’d not force her Inclinations.

Bartholo.

I am your most obedient, but I will sooner hazard hanging for her than die for want of attempting her.

Bazile.

Oh, if your Life is at Stake, marry her, Doctor, marry her.

Bartholo.

And so I will this very Night.

Bazile.

Remember when you mention them to your Ward; to paint them as black as Hell.

Bartholo.

I’ll take your advice.

Bazile.

Calumny Doctor, Calumny is our Sheet Anchor.

Bartholo.

Here’s Rosina’s Letter, which Alonzo gave me, and he without Intention so to do, shew’d me the Use I shou’d make of it.

Bazile.

Adieu, we will all be here in a Quarter of an Hour—

Bartholo.

Why not sooner!

Bazile.

It’s impossible, our Notary is engaged.

Bartholo.

Every other Business ought to give Way when a Marriage is in the Cafe.

Bazile.

But it seems the Barber Figaro’s Niece is to be married to Night.

Bartholo.

Figaro’s Niece! he has no Niece that I know of.

Bazile.

That’s what the Lawyer told me.

Bartholo.

That Knave is in the Plot: and I would as soon trust the Devil!

Bazile.

And cou’d you think?

Bartholo.

Aye, any Thing! to say the Truth my Friend these People alarm me much; go back to the Lawyer and bring him back with you, that all Dispatch Edition: current; Page: [60] be used to settle every thing that can set me at Ease.

Bazile.

It rains as if Heaven and Earth wou’d come together, but nothing shall prevent my serving you?—where are you going?

Bartholo.

To conduct you to the Door; for Figaro has laid up all my Servants, I am quite alone here.

Bazile.

Give yourself no Trouble, I have my Lanthorn.

Bartholo.

Take my Cloak, Bazile, I’ll wait your return, and keep Watch, and let who will knock, my Doors this Night shall not be open’d to any Body, but to you and the Lawyer.

Bazile.

That precaution will secure every Thing.

SCENE II.

Rosina, alone, coming out of the Chamber.

Sure I heard People speak, ’tis past Midnight, and Lindor does not come; the Storm and darkness of the Night favours his Enterprize: ah, Lindor, if you had deceived me—what noise is that? oh Heaven’s! ’tis my Guardian, I’ll go in.

SCENE III.

Bartholo.

Oh Rosina! as you are not yet retir’d to your Chamber—

Rosina.

I am going.

Bartholo.

The Storm is so violent you cou’d not rest, and I have something of the utmost Consequence to inform you of.

Rosina.

What wou’d you have, Sir? is not the Day of sufficient Length for your plaguing me?

Bartholo.

I beg Rosina, you will hearken to me.

Rosina.

I will hear you To-morrow.

Bartholo.

One Moment only I entreat you.

Edition: current; Page: [61]

Rosina aside. If he shou’d come now.

Bartholo shewing her, her Letter. Do you know this Letter?

Rosina looking at it. Oh Heavens!

Bartholo.

I do not mean to load you with Reproaches, Rosina, at your Age Error is excusable, I am your Friend: pray attend to me.

Rosina.

I can’t support it.

Bartholo.

This Letter which you wrote to Count Almaviva,

Rosina amaz’d.

To Count Almaviva?

Bartholo.

Judge what a Wretch he is, no sooner does he get Possession of it, than he makes use of it as a Trophy of his Victory, and to acquire another makes an immediate Sacrifice of it to another Woman, from whom I have it.

Rosina.

The Count Almaviva!

Bartholo.

You’ll hardly credit so horrid a Piece of Treachery; Inexperience Rosina renders your Sex too confident and credulous, but you see the Snare that was laid for you, the Woman told me all, perhaps with an Intention to free herself from so dangerous a Rival; I tremble to think how deep the Plot was laid, between this Count Almaviva, Figaro and Alonzo, who pretended to be Pupil of Don Bazile, but is an Agent of the Count, to draw you into an Abyss of Ruin from which it wou’d have been impossible to save you.

Rosina, overcome. What Horror!—Cou’d Lindor, cou’d that young Man!

Bartholo, aside. Ah! It’s Lindor!

Rosina.

Was it then for Count Almaviva? For another!

Bartholo.

That is what she told me, when she gave me your Letter.

Rosina.

Oh! what an Insult! But he shall be punish’d—You wish’d to marry me, Sir?

Bartholo.

My dear Rosina, you know the Warmth of my Sentiments for you.

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Rosina.

If you can still have a Regard for me, I will be your’s.

Bartholo.

I have still the same, and to convince you of it, the Lawyer will be here to Night.

Rosina.

Alas! You don’t know all—Oh! Heavens! Sure I am sufficiently humbled; this very Night he is to come, and to be certain of Admittance he has possess’d himself of the Key of this Jealousie.

Bartholo, looking at his Bunch of Keys. Oh! the Robbers!—My dear Child, I’ll not leave you alone, no, not a single Instant.

Rosina.

But if they shou’d come arm’d.

Bartholo.

Why that is possible, and in that Case they wou’d escape my Vengeance; go then up to Marcelina’s Room, and double lock the Door. I’ll go for Assistance, and by watching them in from the Street be sure to take them up for House-breakers; and by that Means we shall at once be revenged and secured from their Attempts. Don’t afflict yourself, my Love shall make you ample amends. [Exit.

SCENE IV.

Rosina.

Oh! Do but forget my Errors. [aside.] Alas! his Love will make me ample amends to be sure.—Wretched Rosina! What shall I do? [bursting into Tears] Lindor is just coming; I will stay, and if I can dissemble with him for a few moments, till by attentive Contemplation of his Guilt, I learn to hate and despise those Charms which won my Soul. Who could have thought it? So bewitching an Air! So noble a Figure! A Voice so tender! Every Thing combin’d to form a vile Seducer!—Alas! alas!—Oh! Heavens! They are opening the Jealousie. [runs out.

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SCENE V.

The Count and Figaro, wrap’d up in a great Cloak, appear at the Window.

Figaro speaks from without. Somebody left the Room. Shall I go in?

Count from without. Was it a Man?

Figaro.

No.

Count.

It certainly was Rosina you have put to Flight by your tremendous Appearance.

Figaro, leaping into the Chamber. By my Faith I believe it. No Matter, since we have at last got here in Spight of Thunder and Lightning, the Rain, and what’s worse than all, Doctor Bartholo.

Count, wrap’d up in a long Cloak. Lend me your Hand. [Jumps in] The Victory’s ours.

Figaro flings off his Cloak. I am wet to the Skin—This is fine Weather for Fortune-hunting—How do you like it, my Lord?

Count, ’Tis delightful to a Lover.

Figaro.

Yes, but to a Confident—and to mend all if we should be caught here?

Count, Am not I with you, my Fears arise from another Cause, and that is, how shall we persuade her to quit her Guardian’s House immediately?

Figaro.

Whilst you have on your Side for Advocates three of the most powerful Passions in Women, you need not fear, and you are certain of Love, Hate, and fear operating in your Favour—

Count seeking in the dark. How shall we break it so suddenly to her? that the Lawyer is ready at your House to perfect the Marriage Settlements? She will think me very presumptuous.

Figaro.

If she taxes you with Presumption, call her cruel; Women like mightily to be called cruel, and above all other Arguments, if her Love proves such Edition: current; Page: [64] as you wish, you will tell her who you are; she then can have no further Doubts of your Sincerity.

SCENE VI.

Count, Rosina, Figaro lights a Candle.

Count.

Here comes my lovely Rosina!

Rosina, in a compos’d Tone of Voice. I began, Sir, to apprehend you wou’d not come.

Count.

Charming Anxiety! It is not just I should avail myself of Circumstances to offer you to share my indifferent Lot; but whatever Refuge you may chuse, I swear upon my Honour—

Rosina.

If, Sir, I had not intended the Gift of my Hand to follow immediately that of my Heart, you had not now had Admission here; I hope Necessity will plead with you my Excuse for this improper Interview.

Count.

And can you, Rosina, be the Companion of a Wretch, without Friends, Family, or Fortune?

Rosina.

What’s Family, or Fortune! A Game of Chance, advantages the most unworthy may enjoy, and the most virtuous want, cou’d you convince me that your Heart is pure, sincere, and your Intentions honourable—

Count throwing himself at her Fect. Ah, Rosina! by all that’s sacred I adore you!

Rosina with Disdain. Stop Wretch, you dare profane—you adore me; away! this Instant does your power end; I waited for that Word to hate you, but ’ere I leave you to the Stings of your Conscience ever attendant on a treacherous Breast. [Weeps.] know that I loved you, that all my hopes of Happiness were formed in Schemes of sharing with thee thy Poverty and Want—yes, Lindor, with Regret I would have quitted all to follow thee; but the ungenerous Use Edition: current; Page: [65] to which you put each Token of my Favour, with the Baseness of your Employer Count Almaviva, to whom you meant to sell me, have thrown into my Hands this Testimony of my Folly—You know this Letter—

Count hastily. Which your Guardian gave—

Rosina gravely. I owe him that Obligation.

Count.

Ye Gods, how fortunate! he received it from me—Yesterday when I found myself in the greatest Perplexity how to obtain the Sight of you, I had no Means left but to make a Sacrifice of the Letter to gain his Confidence, and had no Opportunity to inform you of it afterwards, and does Rosina really love me!

Figaro.

Well, my Lord, you sought a distinterested Love, and—

Rosina, My Lord! What does he say?

Count throws off his Cloak and shows a magnificent Dress. Most beloved of Women, I will no longer impose upon you; the happy Man you see at your Feet is not Lindor, but the Count Almaviva, who long has sought an Opportunity to tell you his heart is wholly yours—

Rosina falling in the Count’s Arms. Ah! me!

Count affrighted. Figaro!

Figaro.

Don’t be alarm’d, my Lord, the gentle Emotions of Joy are not dangerous—See there she comes to herself, by my Soul a gentle Self it is too.

Rosina.

Oh Lindor! Oh, Sir, my Guilt o’ercomes me, I had consented this very Night to marry my Guardian.

Count.

You, Rosina!

Rosina.

Oh think only on the punishment which must have followed, to have pass’d my Life in detesting you—Ah Lindor! what greater Torment can be imagin’d than that of hating, when convinced we were made to love.

Edition: current; Page: [66]

Duet between Rosina and the Count,

*DUET.

I.

Rosina.
  • ’Twas Lindor when in low Degree,
  • To whom my trembling Vows I gave.
Count.
  • Behold him gentle Maid in me,
  • His Share let Almaviva have.

II.

Rosina.
  • And did’st thou cast thy Rank aside,
  • For me the Glare of Pomp resign?
Count.
  • Say, what is Grandeur’s utmost Pride,
  • While Happiness and Love are mine?

III.

Rosina.
  • ’Tis true, sweet Peace had blest the State,
  • With Lindor I had hop’d to share,
Count.
  • Am I less lov’d because more great?
  • The favour’d Name again I’ll bear.

IV.

Rosina.
  • Not so—the Love with Fear confest,
  • I now will glory to declare,
  • Lindor gain’d Entrance to my Breast,
  • But Almaviva governs there.

V.

Both.
  • In mutual Bliss our Days shall pass,
  • And thou my Love be all to me,
  • And as old Time shall shake his Glass,
  • Each Sand shall bring fresh Ecstacy.
Edition: current; Page: [67]

Figaro looking out of the Window. My Lord, our Retreat is cut off, the Ladder is remov’d—

Count.

Removed!

Rosina.

It is my Fault, ’tis the Doctor: you see the fruit of my Credulity, he deceiv’d me, I have discover’d all; he knew you were to come this Night, and is gone to get Assistance.

Figaro looks again. My Lord, they are opening the Door.

Rosina in a Fright runs into the Count’s Arms. Ah! Lindor!

Count in a resolute tone of Voice. Certain of your Affections Rosina, I fear nothing; you shall be my Wife, and I will then most amply punish the wicked old Villain, who—

Rosina.

No! no! have Pity on him—my Heart is too full of Joy to admit either Hatred or Revenge.

SCENE VII.

Enter Don Bazile, and a Lawyer.

Figaro.

Your Notary, my Lord.

Count.

And our friend Bazile with him.

Bazile.

What do I see!

Figaro.

By what chance, my dear Friend?

Bazile.

What Accident, Gentlemen!

Notary.

Are these the Parties who desire to be join’d by the holy Bonds of Matrimony?

Count.

Yes, Sir, you were this Evening to have compleated the Contract between Signora Rosina and me at Figaro’s, but for Reasons, which you shall know before we part, we have preferr’d this House—have you the Contract?

Notary.

I then have the honour of speaking to his Excellency Count Almaviva

Figaro.

Precisely—

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Bazile aside.

If it was for this purpose he gave me the Master-key—

Notary.

We must be careful to make no Mistakes, for I have here two Marriage Contracts—this is yours with Signora Rosina, and this other is Doctor Bartholo’s with Signora Rosina too, perhaps the Ladies are Sisters, who bear the same Name.

Count.

Let us sign ours, Don Bazile will do me the Favour to be a Witness.

Bazile.

But will your Excellency—I don’t rightly understand.

Count.

My Friend Bazile, you are amazed at every Thing, and feel Difficulties where there are none?

Bazile.

My Lord, but if the Doctor—

Count throws him a Purse. Don’t play the Fool, sign directly—

Bazile.

Ah! Ah!

Figaro.

Where is the Difficulty? You know how to write your Name.

Bazile, weighing the Purse in his Hand. Well, I’ll say no more about it; but when once I have given my Word weighty Arguments are necessary. [signs.

SCENE VIII.

Enter Bartholo, the Alcade, Algouasils’ Servants.

Bartholo, perceiving Rosina give her Hand to the Count, which he kisses. Rosina! amidst these Villains, stop every Soul of them [seizes the Notary by the Collar] I’ll secure this Rascal.

Notary.

I am your Notary.

Bazile.

Are you raving?—It is your Notary.

Bartholo.

Ah! Don Bazile! How came you here?

Bazile.

Nay, rather, how came you here?

Alcade, pointing to Figaro. Stay a Moment; I know this Fellow. How came you, Sir, in this House at such an unseasonable Hour?

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Figaro.

Unseasonable an Hour! sure it is as nigh Morning as Night; besides, I am one of the Attendants of his Excellency the Count Almaviva.

Bartholo.

Count Almaviva!

Alcade.

These are no Robbers.

Bartholo.

To conclude—Every where else, my Lord, I have the Honour to be your very humble Servant; but you must be sensible, on this Occasion, superior Rank is of no Effect: I therefore desire you will get out of my House immediately.

Count.

Yes, I must confess my Rank has no particular Privilege in this House; but the Preference which Rosina has just now been so kind as to testify for me before these Gentlemen—

Bartholo.

What is that he says, Rosina?

Rosina.

Nothing but the Truth;—Why are you so amaz’d? Was I not this Night to be reveng’d of a Deceiver?—And so I am.

Bazile.

I think I was in the Right, Doctor, when I told you it was certainly the Count himself.

Bartholo.

What avails all this?—A strange Marriage indeed, without Witnesses.

Notary.

The Marriage was celebrated in due Form—These Gentlemen were so kind as to assist.

Bartholo.

How!—Bazile, did you sign the Contract?

Bazile.

What cou’d I do?—The Count’s Pockets are full of irresistable Arguments.

Bartholo.

I defy him and his Arguments, I’ll assert my Authority as her Guardian.

Count.

You have lost it by abusing it.

Bartholo.

Besides, she is under Age.

Figaro.

The Lady has removed every Obstacle, by granting herself an unlimited Licence—

Bartholo.

Who spoke to thee, thou saucy Knave?

Count.

The Lady is beautiful and noble, I am young, rich, and of Quality; she is my Wife, that’s a Title which is no Disgrace to either, and which I believe no one will dispute with me.

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Bartholo.

Nothing shall persuade me to give up my Right.

Count.

She is no longer in your Power. To the Protection of the Laws I confide her, and this Gentleman, [points to the Alcade.] who you brought here yourself, will certainly protect her against any Violence you may offer. The upright Magistrate is the Defender of the helpless and oppress’d.

Alcade.

His useless Opposition to his Ward’s proper and suitable Marriage, shews plainly the Dislike he has to letting the Accounts of his Guardianship be supervised.

Count.

Oh! If he consents to my Marriage, I’ll remove any Fears of that Kind, by giving him a Receipt in full.

Figaro.

Pray, my Lord, don’t let the Hundred Piasters I owe him slip your Memory.

Bartholo.

What a Nest of Hornets have I got my Head into!

Bazile.

What a Nest of Hornets! Come, Doctor, as you cannot have the Lady, her Money is worth something—You are far from having lost all.

Bartholo.

Let me alone, Bazile—You think of nothing but Money. I care little about the Fortune; I will keep it: but I assure you ’tis not from interested Views that I determine—[Signs.

Figaro, laughing. Ah! Ah! Ah! My Lord they are all of a Kidney.

Notary.

But, Gentlemen, I cannot rightly understand—Are there not two Ladies of the same Name?

Figaro.

No, Sir, only one.

Bartholo, in Despair. I took away the Ladder that the Marriage might be completed. Here, alas! I have ruin’d myself by Want of Care.

Figaro.

Rather by Want of Sense, Doctor; but the Truth is, when Love and Youth combine to deceive an old Man, all his Efforts to prevent it may well be call’d Useless Precautions.

FINISH.
*

His Eugenie or the School for Rakes, &c.

*

In France illegitimate Children, by the Marriage of their Parents, become legitimate.

*

No Author before was applauded for making an Audience gasp. This Scene was never acted without the general Applause of the whole House.

*

This Duet has been added in the Translation there being none in the Original.