See Goldoni's memoirs (1787, in French; tr. by J. Black, 1926); biography by H. C. Chatfield-Taylor (1913); study by H. Riedt (tr. 1974).
Lelio, a Venetian who has spent years away from home, returns to Venice. He courts the two daughters of Doctor Balanzone, Beatrice and Rosaura, without telling them which one he really loves. Meanwhile, each girl has another suitor a well, Florindo for Rosaura and Ottavio for Beatrice. Florindo is shy, however, and will not tell Rosaura that he loves her. This allows Lelio to concoct fabulous lies and convince Rosaura that he wishes to marry her.
Lelio's lies get him into deeper and deeper trouble with the girls, their father, and his own father Pantalone. At the end, it is revealed that while in Rome he married a Roman lady, who comes to claim him, leaving Rosaura and Beatrice free to marry Florindo and Ottavio.