Short summary - Mirandolina or La locandiera - Carlo Goldoni

Italy literature summaries - 2023

Short summary - Mirandolina or La locandiera
Carlo Goldoni

Count Albafiorita and the Marquis of Forlipopoli lived in the same Florentine hotel for almost three months and all this time they sorted things out, arguing what was more important, a big name or a full wallet: the Marquis reproached the Count with the fact that his county was bought, the Count parried the attacks of the Marquis, recalling, that he bought the county about the same time that the marquis was forced to sell his marquisate. Most likely, disputes so unworthy of aristocrats would not have been fought if it were not for the mistress of that hotel, the charming Mirandolina, with whom both of them were in love. The count tried to win the heart of Mirandodina with rich gifts, while the marquis kept showing off the patronage that she supposedly could expect from him. Mirandolina did not give preference to either one or the other, demonstrating deep indifference to both, while the hotel servants clearly appreciated the count more, who lived on a sequin a day, than the marquis, who spent three paolos at most.

Once again starting a dispute about the comparative merits of nobility and wealth, the count and the marquis called for a third guest to judge - the cavalier Ripafratt. The cavalier admitted that, no matter how glorious the name, it is always good to have money to satisfy all sorts of whims, but the reason for which the argument flared up caused him a fit of contemptuous laughter: they also figured out why to quarrel - because for the women! The cavalier Ripafratta himself never liked these same women and didn’t put them at all. Struck by such an unusual attitude towards the fair sex, the count and the marquis began to describe the charms of the hostess to the gentleman, but he stubbornly asserted that Mirandolina was a woman like a woman, and there was nothing in her that would distinguish her from the others.

The hostess found the guests behind such conversations, to whom the count immediately presented another gift of love - diamond earrings; Mirandolina for decency scoffed, but then accepted the gift only, according to her, so as not to offend the Signor Count.

Mirandolina, who was forced to maintain the hotel on her own after the death of her father, was, in general, tired of the constant red tape of the guests, but the gentleman’s speech still seriously hurt her vanity - just think of speaking so dismissively about her charms! Silently, Mirandolina decided to use all her art and overcome the foolish and unnatural dislike of the gentleman Ripafratt towards women.

When the gentleman demanded to change his bed linen, she "instead of sending a servant to his room, went there herself. By this she once again aroused the displeasure of the servant, Fabrizio, whom her father, dying, read to her as her husband. To the timid reproaches of the enamored Fabrizio Mirandolina replied that she would think about her father’s covenant when she got married, but for now her flirting with the guests is very good for the institution. subtle tricks interspersed with rough flattery, even endeared him to her.

In the meantime, two new guests arrived at the hotel, the actresses Dejanira and Ortensia, whom Fabrizio, misled by their outfits, mistook for noble ladies and began to call them “excellences”. The girls were amused by the servant's mistake, and, deciding to have fun, introduced themselves one as a Corsican baroness, the other as a countess from Rome. Mirandolina immediately saw through their innocent lies, but out of love for funny practical jokes, she promised not to expose the actresses.

In the presence of the newly arrived ladies, the marquis, with great ceremonies, presented Mirandolina with a handkerchief of the rarest, in his words, English work, as the greatest jewel. Posing rather not for the wealth of the donor, but for his title, Dejanira and Ortensia immediately called the marquis to dine with them, but when the count appeared and presented the hostess with a diamond necklace in front of their eyes, the girls, instantly soberly assessing the situation, decided to dine with the count as with man is undoubtedly more worthy and promising.

Ripafratta's cavalier was served dinner earlier than everyone else that day. Moreover, this time Mirandolina added a sauce prepared by her own hands to the usual dishes, and then she herself brought a stew of an unearthly taste to the room of the cavalier. Wine was served with the stew. Declaring that she was crazy about Burgundy, Mirandolina drank a glass, then, as if by the way, sat down at the table and began to eat and drink with her gentleman - the marquis and count would burst with envy at the sight of this scene, since both of them more than once they begged her to share the meal, but they always met with a decisive refusal. Soon the gentleman sent the servant out of the room, and spoke to Mirandolina with courtesy, which he had never expected from himself before.

Their seclusion was violated by the importunate marquis. Nothing to do, they poured him Burgundy and put the stew. Satisfied, the marquis took out of his pocket a miniature bottle of the most exquisite, as he claimed, Cypriot wine, brought by him in order to bring pleasure to the dear hostess. He poured this wine into glasses the size of a thimble, and then, being generous, sent the same glasses to the count and his ladies. The rest of the Cypriot - vile liquor to the taste of the cavalier and Mirandolina - he carefully corked and put back in his pocket; before leaving, he also sent a full-fledged bottle of Canarian, sent in response by the count, to the same place. Mirandolina left the gentleman shortly after the Marquis, but by this time he was quite ready to confess his love to her.

At a merry dinner, the count and the actresses laughed to their heart's content at the poor and greedy marquis. The actresses promised the count, when their whole troupe arrived, to bring this type on the stage in the most hilarious way, to which the count replied that it would also be very funny to introduce the adamant misogynist gentleman in some play. Not believing that such things happen, the girls, for the sake of fun, undertook to turn the gentleman’s head right now, but it didn’t hurt them. The cavalier, with great reluctance, agreed to speak to them and more or less began to talk only when Dejanira and Ortensia admitted that they were not noble ladies at all, but simple actresses. However, after chatting a little, he eventually cursed the actresses anyway and sent them out.

The cavalier had no time for idle chatter, because he realized with bewildered fear that he had fallen into Mirandolina's nets and that if he did not leave before evening, this charming woman would completely slay him. Gathering his will into a fist, he announced his immediate departure, and Mirandolina gave him a bill. At the same time, desperate sadness was written on her face, then she shed a tear, and a little later she completely collapsed into a faint. When the gentleman gave the girl a decanter of water, he already called her only dear and beloved, and sent the servant who appeared with a sword and travel hat to hell. He advised the count with the marquis who came to the noise to get out there and, for persuasiveness, launched a decanter at them.

Mirandolina celebrated the victory. Now she needed only one thing - for everyone to know about her triumph, which should serve the shame of men and the glory of the female.

Mirandolina stroked, and Fabrizio obediently brought her heated irons, although he was in frustrated feelings - he was driven to despair by the frivolity of his beloved, her undeniable predilection for noble and rich gentlemen. Maybe Mirandolina would like to console the unfortunate young man, but she did not do this, because she believed that it was not time yet. She was able to please Fabrizio only by sending back to the gentleman the precious golden bottle with healing lemon balm water, which he had transferred.

But it was not so easy to get rid of the gentleman - offended, he personally presented Mirandolina with a bottle and began to persistently impose it on her as a gift. Mirandolina flatly refused to accept this gift, and in general it was as if they had replaced her: she now behaved coldly with her gentleman, answered him extremely sharply and unkindly, and explained her fainting by forcibly allegedly pouring Burgundy into her mouth. At the same time, she addressed Fabrizio with emphatic tenderness, and to top it all, having accepted a bottle from her gentleman, she casually threw it into the laundry basket. Here, the cavalier, driven to the extreme, burst into ardent love confessions, but in response he received only evil ridicule - Mirandolina cruelly triumphed over the defeated enemy, who was unaware that in her eyes he was always only an opponent and nothing more.

Left to himself, the gentleman could not recover for a long time after an unexpected blow, until he was slightly distracted from his sad thoughts by the marquis, who appeared to demand satisfaction - but not for the scolded honor of the nobility, but material, for a spattered caftan. The cavalier, as was to be expected, again sent him to hell, but then the bottle thrown by Mirandolina caught the eyes of the marquis, and he tried to remove the stains with its contents. The bottle itself, considering it to be bronze, he presented to Dejanira under the guise of gold. What was his horror when a servant came for the same bottle and testified that it was really golden and that twelve sequins had been paid for it: the honor of the marquis hung in the balance, because it was impossible to take away the gift from the countess, that is, it was necessary to pay for it Mirandolina, and not a penny of money ...

The Count interrupted the gloomy reflections of the Marquis. Angry as hell, he declared that since the cavalier had won the undeniable favor of Mirandolina, he, the Count of Albafiorita, had nothing to do here, he was leaving. Wanting to punish the ungrateful hostess, he persuaded the actresses and the marquis to move out of her, enticing the latter with a promise to settle with his friend for free.

Frightened by the fury of the gentleman and not knowing what else to expect from him, Mirandolina, meanwhile, locked herself in her room and, sitting locked up, strengthened herself in the thought that it was time for her to marry Fabrizio as soon as possible - marriage with him would become reliable protection for her and her name, freedom , in fact, will not cause any damage. The cavalier justified Mirandolina's fears - he began with all his strength to break into her door. The count and the marquis, who came running to the noise, forcibly dragged the gentleman from the door, after which the count told him that by his actions he had clearly proved that he was madly in love with Mirandolina and, therefore, could no longer be called a misogynist. The enraged cavalier in response accused the count of slander, and there would have been a bloody duel, but at the last moment it turned out that the sword borrowed by the cavalier from the Marquis was a piece of iron with a handle.

Fabrizio and Mirandolina pulled the unlucky duelists away. Backed against the wall, the gentleman was finally forced to publicly admit that Mirandolina conquered him. Mirandolina was just waiting for this recognition - after listening to him, she announced that she was marrying the one whom her father had read for her husband - Fabrizio.

The whole story convinced Cavalier Ripafratta that it is not enough to despise women, one must also run away from them, so as not to inadvertently fall under their irresistible power. When he hurriedly left the hotel, Mirandolina nevertheless experienced remorse. She politely but persistently asked the count and the marquis to follow the gentleman - now that she had a fiancé, Mirandolina unnecessarily had their gifts, and even more so patronage.