A corridor in the Palace.
Enter from opposite sides SMERALDINA and TRUFFALDINO.
Smeraldina. Who are you? Haven't I seen you before somewhere?
Truffaldino (vaguely remembering). Oh yes, you're the girl who smacked my face.
Smer. (vaguely remembering). Smacked your face, did I? Served you right, too. Yes—in the forest, wasn't it? You thought you could take liberties with me. Well, I'm sorry I lost my temper. Let's forget about it. Have you got a job here in the palace?
Truff. (importantly). Of course I have.
Smer. Then perhaps you could help me to one. I don't know how I'm going to live.
Truff. You want a job? Then you've come to the right man. I'm a person of great influence at Court, very great influence, I can assure you. I have the private ear of Her Majesty, Queen Gulindì; in fact I may say that I am admitted to her most intimate confidence. But hush! that's a State secret. What's your name, young woman?
Smer. Smeraldina, sir, if you please. I come from Bergamo. I'm poor but honest and I'm looking for work.
Truff. Smeraldina? The virgin Smeraldina?
Smer. (primly demure). Yes, sir, of course.
Truff. Then you've no need to ask me for a job; you've got one already.
Smer. Where? The Queen wouldn't so much as look at me, and I don't know what to do for a living!
Truff. Haven't you heard about the lottery? Don't you know you've made your fortune?
Smer. The lottery? I never heard anything. Have I really won a fortune?
Truff. Here's Captain Brighella. He'W. tell you about it. Now you're at the end of all your troubles.
Enter BRIGHELLA with soldiers.
Brighella (looking at SMERALDINA). Oh Lord, oh Lord, this is a bad business!
Smeraldina (very excited and happy). Your humble servant, my lord.
Brig, (aside). Just the same, only a few sizes larger. The very spit of my old mother! Oh, I'm all of a palpitation!
Smer. I don't know what to say, to thank you for all the good news your lordship has come to bring me.