As long as it’s not too dear! And as for Paolina; while you still live
under my roof, I keep control of all the administration. I’ve always
done so and I see no reason for things to change now. I like to keep
an overview. It’s ﬁne by me that she keeps things up to date while
you are away. She’s proved herself more than capable of that. I am
sure she can make herself useful in other ways, and don’t forget
she has a sister to watch over.’
So Giambattista has the last word. Antonio has to be
satisﬁed with his father’s agreement in principle to a larger house,
although it will be a good year before the whole family moves to a
spacious corner property on the Ponte del Paradiso, close to the
enormous church of San Maria Formosa. The neighbourhood
represents a clear step up in the world, but his father ﬁnds the rent
of seventy ducats per month outrageously astronomical.
Paolina has been shrewd enough in her summing up of
Giambattista, and so it comes as no great surprise to hear from
Antonio that his father does not yet wish to relinquish any of his
tasks. She contents herself with the fact that the domestic
arrangements are going fairly smoothly and a larger house may
even be on the horizon. For now she resigns herself to the situation.
She can in any case concentrate her full attention upon Annina,
who is transforming herself day by the day into ‘Anna’. The child
has so set her heart on becoming a famous singer that Antonio has
made enquiries among his associates, hoping to engage a music
teacher for her. He has lighted on Catherina, who is older, has her
theatre career behind her and would welcome a little extra income.
She agrees to give Anna singing lessons, but Paolina is beset by
doubt as to the wisdom of devoting so much of the girl’s education
to singing. ‘What do you think, Antonio, is she really talented
enough to justify it?’
He ﬁnds it difﬁcult to come up with an honest answer.
Anna is obviously highly motivated and deﬁnitely has a feeling for
music. But at such a young age there is simply no way of knowing
how the voice will develop.
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