by: Molière



MASCARILLE: Stop, chairman, stop. Easy does it! Easy, easy! I think these boobies intend to break me to pieces by bumping me against the walls and the pavement.

1ST CHAIRMAN: Ay, marry, because the gate is narrow and you would make us bring you in here.

MASCARILLE: To be sure, you rascals! Would you have me expose the fulness of my plumes to the inclemency of the rainy season, and let the mud receive the impression of my shoes? Begone; take away your chair.

2ND CHAIRMAN: Then please to pay us, sir.


2ND CHAIRMAN: Sir, please to give us our money, I say.

MASCARILLE: [Giving him a box on the ear.] What, scoundrel, to ask money from a person of my rank!

2ND CHAIRMAN: Is this the way poor people are to be paid? Will your rank get us dinner?

MASCARILLE: Ha, ha! I shall teach you to keep your right place. Those low fellows dare to make fun of me!

1ST CHAIRMAN: [Taking up the poles of his chair.] Come, pay us quickly.


1ST CHAIRMAN: I mean to have my money at once.

MASCARILLE: That is a sensible fellow.

1ST CHAIRMAN: Make haste, then.

MASCARILLE: Ay, you speak properly, but the other is a scoundrel who does not know what he says. There, are you satisfied?

1ST CHAIRMAN: No, I am not satisfied; you boxed my friend's ears, ant . . . [Holding up his pole.]

MASCARILLE: Gently; there is something for the box on the ear. People may get anything from me when they go about it in the right way. Go now, but come and fetch me by and by to carry me to the Louvre to the petit coucher [1].

1 Louis XIV, and several other Kings of France, received their courtiers when rising or going to bed. This was called leverI and coucher. The lever as well as the coucher was divided into petit and grand. All persons received at court had a right to come to the grand lever and coucher, but only certain noblemen of high rank and the princess of the royal blood could remain at the petit lever and coucher, which was the time between the king putting on either a day or night shirt, and the time he went to bed or was fully dressed. The highest person of rank always claimed the right of handing to the king is shirt.

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