[Nato still crying.
Do all these things you have said in my presence amount to anything? You
yourself said that you troubled yourself little about what others did.
What do you want, then? Why should you poison the heart of this innocent
[All are silent awhile.
OSSEP [lays his hand on his forehead and recovers
himself.] O just heaven, what am I doing?
I am beside myself. [Goes up to Nato.] Not to
you, not to you, my Nato, should I say all this! [Embraces
her.] No, you do not deserve it; you are innocent.
We are to blame for all. I am to blame, I! because
I imitated the others and brought you up as others
brought up their daughters. Don’t cry!
I did not wish to hurt you. I was in bad humor,
for everything has vexed me to-day, and unfortunately
you came in at the wrong moment. [Picks up the
music and gives it to her.] Here, take the music,
my child. [Embraces her again.] Go and buy some
more. Do what you wish everywhere, and be behind
no one. Until to-day you have wanted nothing,
and, with God’s help, you shall want nothing
in the future.
[Kisses her and turns to go.
CHACHO. Now, Ossep, think it over; come to some decision in the matter.
OSSEP. I should like to, indeed; but what I cannot
do I cannot do.
[Goes off at the right.
Nato, Chacho, then Salome.
NATO [falling sobbing in Chacho’s arms]. O dear, dear aunt.
CHACHO. Stop; don’t cry, my dear, my precious child. It is indeed your father. Stop; stop, Salome.
SALOME [coming in smiling]. Dear aunt,
I have arranged everything.
[Stops.] What is this now? Why are you crying?
[Nato wipes away her tears and goes toward the divan.
CHACHO. You know her father, don’t you? He has been scolding her, and has made her cry.
SALOME. If her father has been troubling her, then I will make her happy again. Nato, dear, I have betrothed you. [Nato looks at her in wonderment.] Yes, my love, be happy—what have you to say about it? Mr. Alexander Marmarow is now your betrothed.