The Alchemist (Johnson): Act 3, Scene 3

Act 3, Scene 3

Summary of Act 3, scene 3
Face comes back from the tavern appointment with Surly who did not show up. But instead he met a Spanish nobleman who has money and wants a prostitute like Doll. The Anabaptists are in another room looking at the orphans’ goods. They have already received the goods and given payment for them. Face suggests they sell them again to Drugger who might want a household if he thinks he is marrying the widow Pliant. Face tells Doll to get ready for the Spanish gentleman. In the middle of this chaos Dapper arrives, and Doll is told to dress as the Queen of Fairy. Drugger and Kestrel arrive as well.
Commentary on Act 3, scene 3

Face is triumphant over their earnings and calculates how much they have made so far. He tells Doll they are “Safe” “against a world” (line 35), as though they are in a war but winning because of their “discipline” (line 35). Discipline implies co-ordination, brains, and art. He believes they can outwit the world. He explains he has found a Spanish nobleman for her and she must ply her trade. The swindles are going on in every direction, and the audience knows, through his own over-confidence, that it is only a matter of time before everything unravels. This is proven when the clients begin to all show up at once. As Doll is getting ready for the Spanish gentleman, Dapper comes to meet his supposed aunt, the Fairy Queen, and Kestrel and Drugger arrive. What will they do with everyone?