La Cambiale di Matrimonio

The servants Norton and Clarina discuss a letter which has arrived for their master, Tobias Mill, regarding an impending marriage contract from a Canadian businessman, Slook, who is due to arrive later that day. Mill enters, flustered from calculating the distance from the Americas to Europe, and orders the household to prepare for Slook's arrival, including the readying of his daughter, Fanny, whom he intends to marry off to the foreigner. After everyone leaves, Fanny arrives with her lover, Eduardo Milfort; their love has been kept a secret from Mill due to Eduardo's poor financial status. Norton enters and informs the lovers of the impending marriage contract, but their conversation is interrupted by Mill's entrance as the carriage arrives bearing the Canadian.

Slook enters harassed by the servants who are trying to take his coat: he is clearly unaccustomed to European greetings. Mill encourages Slook to talk to Fanny and to get to know her, but she remains quite hostile, trying to express her disinterest in marrying him with many "but's". However, she is soon joined by Eduardo, and they both threaten to cut out Slook's eyes and puncture his veins. Slook departs to the safety of his room, Fanny and Eduardo to other quarters, as Clarina and Norton return. Before Slook comes back, Clarina expresses her experiences with love and, then upon his return, Norton informs him that the goods he is interested in acquiring are already mortgaged.

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