Carolina is anxious that someone is going to find out about her marriage to Paolino, her father’s valet, before they reveal the secret officially (Duet: “Cara non dubitar”).. If a servant finds out, the rumors could ruin her reputation and that of the household, and then her father would never accept their marriage. She is also terrified that Paolino has tricked her into this marriage. He keeps promising that they will reveal their marriage at any moment, but then backing down. Pregnant and terrified she begs Paolino to approach her father (Recitative: “Lusinga, no, non c’è”.).
Paolino has a plan. He has been tasked by Carolina’s father, Geronimo, to make arrangements for Carolina’s older sister, Elisetta, to marry the eminent Count Robinson (Il Conte Robinsone). He is sure that when this marriage goes ahead, Geronimo will be so pleased with his work that they will be able to reveal their secret and Paolino will be welcomed into the family. Voices are heard in the corridor and
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