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    Act II

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    Chapter 3
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    SCENE I.--GÉRONTE, ARGANTE.

    GER. Yes, there is no doubt but that with this weather we shall have our people with us to-day; and a sailor who has arrived from Tarentum told me just now that he had seen our man about to start with the ship. But my daughter's arrival will find things strangely altered from what we thought they would be, and what you have just told me of your son has put an end to all the plans we had made together.

    ARG. Don't be anxious about that; I give you my word that I shall remove that obstacle, and I am going to see about it this moment.

    GER. In all good faith, Mr. Argante, shall I tell you what? The education of children is a thing that one could never be too careful about.

    ARG. You are right; but why do you say that?

    GER. Because most of the follies of young men come from the way they have been brought up by their fathers.

    ARG. It is so sometimes, certainly; but what do you mean by saying that to me?

    GER. Why do I say that to you?

    ARG. Yes.

    GER. Because, if, like a courageous father, you had corrected your son when he was young, he would not have played you such a trick.

    ARG. I see. So that you have corrected your own much better?

    GER. Certainly; and I should be very sorry if he had done anything at all like what yours has done.

    ARG. And if that son, so well brought up, had done worse even than mine, what would you say?

    GER. What?

    ARG. What?

    GER. What do you mean?

    ARG. I mean, Mr. Géronte, that we should never be so ready to blame the conduct of others, and that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    GER. I really do not understand you.

    ARG. I will explain myself.

    GER. Have you heard anything about my son?

    ARG. Perhaps I have.

    GER. But what?

    ARG. Your servant Scapin, in his vexation, only told me the thing roughly, and you can learn all the particulars from him or from some one else. For my part, I will at once go to my solicitor, and see what steps I can take in the matter. Good-bye.

    SCENE II.--GÉRONTE (alone).

    GER. What can it be? Worse than what his son has done! I am sure I don't know what anyone can do more wrong than that; and to marry without the consent of one's father is the worst thing that I can possibly imagine. [Footnote: No exaggeration, if we consider that this was said two hundred years ago, and by a French father.]

    SCENE III--GÉRONTE, LÉANDRE.

    GER. Ah, here you are!

    LEA. (going quickly towards his father to embrace him). Ah! father, how glad I am to see you!

    GER. (refusing to embrace him). Stay, I have to speak to you first.

    LEA. Allow me to embrace you, and....

    GER. (refusing him again). Gently, I tell you.

    LEA. How! father, you deprive me of the pleasure of showing you my joy at your return?

    GER. Certainly; we have something to settle first of all.

    LEA. But what?

    GER. Just stand there before me, and let me look at you.

    LEA. What for?

    GER. Look me straight in the face.

    LEA. Well?

    GER. Will you tell me what has taken place here in my absence?

    LEA. What has taken place?

    GER. Yes; what did you do while I was away?

    LEA. What would you have me do, father?

    GER. It is not I who wanted you to do anything, but who ask you now what it is you did?

    LEA. I have done nothing to give you reason to complain.

    GER. Nothing at all?

    LEA. No.

    GER. You speak in a very decided tone.

    LEA. It is because I am innocent.

    GER. And yet Scapin has told me all about you.

    LEA. Scapin!

    GER. Oh! oh! that name makes you change colour.

    LEA. He has told you something about me?

    GER. He has. But this is not the place to talk about the business, and we must go elsewhere to see to it. Go home at once; I will be there presently. Ah! scoundrel, if you mean to bring dishonour upon me, I will renounce you for my son, and you will have to avoid my presence for ever!

    SCENE IV.--LÉANDRE (alone).

    LEA. To betray me after that fashion! A rascal who for so many reasons should be the first to keep secret what I trust him with! To go and tell everything to my father! Ah! I swear by all that is dear to me not to let such villainy go unpunished.

    SCENE V.--OCTAVE, LÉANDRE, SCAPIN.

    OCT. My dear Scapin, what do I not owe to you? What a wonderful man you are, and how kind of Heaven to send you to my help!

    LEA. Ah, ah! here you are, you rascal!

    SCA. Sir, your servant; you do me too much honour.

    LEA. (drawing his sword). You are setting me at defiance, I believe...Ah! I will teach you how....

    SCA. (falling on his knees). Sir!

    OCT. (stepping between them). Ah! Léandre.

    LEA. No, Octave, do not keep me back.

    SCA. (to LÉANDRE). Eh! Sir.

    OCT. (keeping back LÉANDRE). For mercy's sake!

    LEA. (trying to strike). Leave me to wreak my anger upon him.

    OCT. In the name of our friendship, Léandre, do not strike him.

    SCA. What have I done to you, Sir?

    LEA. What you have done, you scoundrel!

    OCT. (still keeping back LÉANDRE). Gently, gently.

    LEA. No, Octave, I will have him confess here on the spot the perfidy of which he is guilty. Yes, scoundrel, I know the trick you have played me; I have just been told of it. You did not think the secret would be revealed to me, did you? But I will have you confess it with your own lips, or I will run you through and through with my sword.

    SCA. Ah! Sir, could you really be so cruel as that?

    LEA. Speak, I say.

    SCA. I have done something against you, Sir?

    LEA. Yes, scoundrel! and your conscience must tell you only too well what it is.

    SCA. I assure you that I do not know what you mean.

    LEA. (going towards SCAPIN to strike him). You do not know?

    OCT. (keeping back LÉANDRE). Léandre!

    SCA. Well, Sir, since you will have it, I confess that I drank with some of my friends that small cask of Spanish wine you received as a present some days ago, and that it was I who made that opening in the cask, and spilled some water on the ground round it, to make you believe that all the wine had leaked out.

    LEA. What! scoundrel, it was you who drank my Spanish wine, and who suffered me to scold the servant so much, because I thought it was she who had played me that trick?

    SCA. Yes, Sir; I am very sorry, Sir.

    LEA. I am glad to know this. But this is not what I am about now.

    SCA. It is not that, Sir?

    LEA. No; it is something else, for which I care much more, and I will have you tell it me.

    SCA. I do not remember, Sir, that I ever did anything else.

    LEA. (trying to strike SCAPIN). Will you speak?

    SCA. Ah!

    OCT. (keeping back LÉANDRE). Gently.

    SCA. Yes, Sir; it is true that three weeks ago, when you sent me in the evening to take a small watch to the gypsy [Footnote: Égyptienne. Compare act v. scene ii. Bohémienne is a more usual name.] girl you love, and I came back, my clothes spattered with mud and my face covered with blood, I told you that I had been attacked by robbers who had beaten me soundly and had stolen the watch from me. It is true that I told a lie. It was I who kept the watch, Sir.

    LEA. It was you who stole the watch?

    SCA. Yes, Sir, in order to know the time.

    LEA. Ah! you are telling me fine things; I have indeed a very faithful servant! But it is not this that I want to know of you.

    SCA. It is not this?

    LEA. No, infamous wretch! it is something else that I want you to confess.

    SCA. (aside). Mercy on me!

    LEA. Speak at once; I will not be put off.

    SCA. Sir, I have done nothing else.

    LEA. (trying to strike SCAPIN). Nothing else?

    OCT. (stepping between them). Ah! I beg....

    SCA. Well, Sir, you remember that ghost that six months ago cudgelled you soundly, and almost made you break your neck down a cellar, where you fell whilst running away?

    LEA. Well?

    SCA. It was I, Sir, who was playing the ghost.

    LEA. It was you, wretch! who were playing the ghost?

    SCA. Only to frighten you a little, and to cure you of the habit of making us go out every night as you did.

    LEA. I will remember in proper time and place all I have just heard. But I'll have you speak about the present matter, and tell me what it is you said to my father.

    SCA. What I said to your father?

    LEA. Yes, scoundrel! to my father.

    SCA. Why, I have not seen him since his return!

    LEA. You have not seen him?

    SCA. No, Sir.

    LEA. Is that the truth?

    SCA. The perfect truth; and he shall tell you so himself.

    LEA. And yet it was he himself who told me.

    SCA. With your leave, Sir, he did not tell you the truth.

    SCENE VI.--LÉANDRE, OCTAVE, CARLE, SCAPIN.

    CAR. Sir, I bring you very bad news concerning your love affair.

    LEA. What is it now?

    CAR. The gypsies are on the point of carrying off Zerbinette. She came herself all in tears to ask me to tell you that, unless you take to them, before two hours are over, the money they have asked you for her, she will be lost to you for ever.

    LEA. Two hours?

    CAR. Two hours.

    SCENE VII.--LÉANDRE, OCTAVE, SCAPIN.

    LEA. Ah! my dear Scapin, I pray you to help me.

    SCA. (rising and passing proudly before LÉANDRE). Ah! my dear Scapin! I am my dear Scapin, now that I am wanted.

    LEA. I will forgive you all that you confessed just now, and more also.

    SCA. No, no; forgive me nothing; run your sword through and through my body. I should be perfectly satisfied if you were to kill me.

    LEA. I beseech you rather to give me life by serving my love.

    SCA. Nay, nay; better kill me.

    LEA. You are too dear to me for that. I beg of you to make use for me of that wonderful genius of yours which can conquer everything.

    SCA. Certainly not. Kill me, I tell you.

    LEA. Ah! for mercy's sake, don't think of that now, but try to give me the help I ask.

    OCT. Scapin, you must do something to help him.

    SCA. How can I after such abuse?

    LEA. I beseech you to forget my outburst of temper, and to make use of your skill for me.

    OCT. I add my entreaties to his.

    SCA. I cannot forget such an insult.

    OCT. You must not give way to resentment, Scapin.

    LEA. Could you forsake me, Scapin, in this cruel extremity?

    SCA. To come all of a sudden and insult me like that.

    LEA. I was wrong, I acknowledge.

    SCA. To call me scoundrel, knave, infamous wretch!

    LEA. I am really very sorry.

    SCA. To wish to send your sword through my body!

    LEA. I ask you to forgive me, with all my heart; and if you want to see me at your feet, I beseech you, kneeling, not to give me up.

    OCT. Scapin, you cannot resist that?

    SCA. Well, get up, and another time remember not to be so hasty.

    LEA. Will you try to act for me?

    SCA. I will see.

    LEA. But you know that time presses.

    SCA. Don't be anxious. How much is it you want?

    LEA. Five hundred crowns.

    SCA. You?

    OCT. Two hundred pistoles.

    SCA. I must extract this money from your respective fathers' pockets. (To OCTAVE) As far as yours is concerned, my plan is all ready. (To LÉANDRE) And as for yours, although he is the greatest miser imaginable, we shall find it easier still; for you know that he is not blessed with too much intellect, and I look upon him as a man who will believe anything. This cannot offend you; there is not a suspicion of a resemblance between him and you; and you know what the world thinks, that he is your father only in name.

    LEA. Gently, Scapin.

    SCA. Besides, what does it matter? But, Mr. Octave, I see your father coming. Let us begin by him, since he is the first to cross our path. Vanish both of you; (to OCTAVE) and you, please, tell Silvestre to come quickly, and take his part in the affair.

    SCENE VIII.--ARGANTE, SCAPIN.

    SCA. (aside). Here he is, turning it over in his mind.

    ARG. (thinking himself alone). Such behaviour and such lack of consideration! To entangle himself in an engagement like that! Ah! rash youth.

    SCA. Your servant, Sir.

    ARG. Good morning, Scapin.

    SCA. You are thinking of your son's conduct.

    ARG. Yes, I acknowledge that it grieves me deeply.

    SCA. Ah! Sir, life is full of troubles; and we should always be prepared for them. I was told, a long time ago, the saying of an ancient philosopher which I have never forgotten.

    ARG. What was it?

    SCA. That if the father of a family has been away from home for ever so short a time, he ought to dwell upon all the sad news that may greet him on his return. He ought to fancy his house burnt down, his money stolen, his wife dead, his son married, his daughter ruined; and be very thankful for whatever falls short of all this. In my small way of philosophy, I have ever taken this lesson to heart; and I never come home but I expect to have to bear with the anger of my masters, their scoldings, insults, kicks, blows, and horse-whipping. And I always thank my destiny for whatever I do not receive.

    ARG. That's all very well; but this rash marriage is more than I can put up with, and it forces me to break off the match I had intended for my son. I have come from my solicitor's to see if we can cancel it.

    SCA. Well, Sir, if you will take my advice, you will look to some other way of settling this business. You know what a law-suit means in this country, and you'll find yourself in the midst of a strange bush of thorns.

    ARG. I am fully aware that you are quite right; but what else can I do?

    SCA. I think I have found something that will answer much better. The sorrow that I felt for you made me rummage in my head to find some means of getting you out of trouble; for I cannot bear to see kind fathers a prey to grief without feeling sad about it, and, besides, I have at all times had the greatest regard for you.

    ARG. I am much obliged to you.

    SCA. Then you must know that I went to the brother of the young girl whom your son has married. He is one of those fire-eaters, one of those men all sword-thrusts, who speak of nothing but fighting, and who think no more of killing a man than of swallowing a glass of wine. I got him to speak of this marriage; I showed him how easy it would be to have it broken off, because of the violence used towards your son. I spoke to him of your prerogatives as father, and of the weight which your rights, your money, and your friends would have with justice. I managed him so that at last he lent a ready ear to the propositions I made to him of arranging the matter amicably for a sum of money. In short, he will give his consent to the marriage being cancelled, provided you pay him well.

    ARG. And how much did he ask?

    SCA. Oh! at first things utterly out of the question.

    ARG. But what?

    SCA. Things utterly extravagant.

    ARG. But what?

    SCA. He spoke of no less than five or six hundred pistoles.

    ARG. Five or six hundred agues to choke him withal. Does he think me a fool?

    SCA. Just what I told him. I laughed his proposal to scorn, and made him understand that you were not a man to be duped in that fashion, and of whom anyone can ask five or six hundred pistoles! However, after much talking, this is what we decided upon. "The time is now come," he said, "when I must go and rejoin the army. I am buying my equipments, and the want of money I am in forces me to listen to what you propose. I must have a horse, and I cannot obtain one at all fit for the service under sixty pistoles."

    ARG. Well, yes; I am willing to give sixty pistoles.

    SCA. He must have the harness and pistols, and that will cost very nearly twenty pistoles more.

    ARG. Twenty and sixty make eighty.

    SCA. Exactly.

    ARG. It's a great deal; still, I consent to that.

    SCA. He must also have a horse for his servant, which, we may expect, will cost at least thirty pistoles.

    ARG. How, the deuce! Let him go to Jericho. He shall have nothing at all.

    SCA. Sir!

    ARG. No; he's an insolent fellow.

    SCA. Would you have his servant walk?

    ARG. Let him get along as he pleases, and the master too.

    SCA. Now, Sir, really don't go and hesitate for so little. Don't have recourse to law, I beg of you, but rather give all that is asked of you, and save yourself from the clutches of justice.

    ARG. Well, well! I will bring myself to give these thirty pistoles also.

    SCA. "I must also have," he said, "a mule to carry...."

    ARG. Let him go to the devil with his mule! This is asking too much. We will go before the judges.

    SCA. I beg of you, Sir!

    ARG. No, I will not give in.

    SCA. Sir, only one small mule.

    ARG. No; not even an ass.

    SCA. Consider....

    ARG. No, I tell you; I prefer going to law.

    SCA. Ah! Sir, what are you talking about, and what a resolution you are going to take. Just cast a glance on the ins and outs of justice, look at the number of appeals, of stages of jurisdiction; how many embarrassing procedures; how many ravening wolves through whose claws you will have to pass; serjeants, solicitors, counsel, registrars, substitutes, recorders, judges and their clerks. There is not one of these who, for the merest trifle, couldn't knock over the best case in the world. A serjeant will issue false writs without your knowing anything of it. Your solicitor will act in concert with your adversary, and sell you for ready money. Your counsel, bribed in the same way, will be nowhere to be found when your case comes on, or else will bring forward arguments which are the merest shooting in the air, and will never come to the point. The registrar will issue writs and decrees against you for contumacy. The recorder's clerk will make away with some of your papers, or the instructing officer himself will not say what he has seen, and when, by dint of the wariest possible precautions, you have escaped all these traps, you will be amazed that your judges have been set against you either by bigots or by the women they love. Ah! Sir, save yourself from such a hell, if you can. 'Tis damnation in this world to have to go to law; and the mere thought of a lawsuit is quite enough to drive me to the other end of the world.

    ARG. How much does he want for the mule?

    SCA. For the mule, for his horse and that of his servant, for the harness and pistols, and to pay a little something he owes at the hotel, he asks altogether two hundred pistoles, Sir.

    ARG. Two hundred pistoles?

    SCA. Yes.

    ARG. (walking about angrily). No, no; we will go to law.

    SCA. Recollect what you are doing.

    ARG. I shall go to law.

    SCA. Don't go and expose yourself to....

    ARG. I will go to law.

    SCA. But to go to law you need money. You must have money for the summons, you must have money for the rolls, for prosecution, attorney's introduction, solicitor's advice, evidence, and his days in court. You must have money for the consultations and pleadings of the counsel, for the right of withdrawing the briefs, and for engrossed copies of the documents. You must have money for the reports of the substitutes, for the court fees [1] at the conclusion, for registrar's enrolment, drawing up of deeds, sentences, decrees, rolls, signings, and clerks' despatches; letting alone all the presents you will have to make. Give this money to the man, and there you are well out of the whole thing.

    [1] Épices, "spices," in ancient times, equalled sweetmeats, and were given to the judge by the side which gained the suit, as a mark of gratitude. These épices had long been changed into a compulsory payment of money when Molière wrote. In Racine's Plaideurs, act ii. scene vii., Petit Jean takes literally the demand of the judge for épices, and fetches the pepper-box to satisfy him.

    ARG. Two hundred pistoles!

    SCA. Yes, and you will save by it. I have made a small calculation in my head of all that justice costs, and I find that by giving two hundred pistoles to your man you will have a large margin left--say, at least a hundred and fifty pistoles--without taking into consideration the cares, troubles, and anxieties, which you will spare yourself. For were it only to avoid being before everybody the butt of some facetious counsel, I had rather give three hundred pistoles than go to law. [Footnote: What would Molière have said if he had been living now!]

    ARG. I don't care for that, and I challenge all the lawyers to say anything against me.

    SCA. You will do as you please, but in your place I would avoid a lawsuit.

    ARG. I will never give two hundred pistoles.

    SCA. Ah! here is our man.

    SCENE IX.--ARGANTE, SCAPIN, SILVESTRE, dressed out as a bravo.

    SIL. Scapin, show me that Argante who is the father of Octave.

    SCA. What for, Sir?

    SIL. I have just been told that he wants to go to law with me, and to have my sister's marriage annulled.

    SCA. I don't know if such is his intention, but he won't consent to give the two hundred pistoles you asked; he says it's too much.

    SIL. S'death! s'blood! If I can but find him, I'll make mince-meat of him, were I to be broken alive on the wheel afterwards.

    (ARGANTE hides, trembling, behind SCAPIN.)

    SCA. Sir, the father of Octave is a brave man, and perhaps he will not be afraid of you.

    SIL. Ah! will he not? S'blood! s'death! If he were here, I would in a moment run my sword through his body. (Seeing ARGANTE.) Who is that man?

    SCA. He's not the man, Sir; he's not the man.

    SIL. Is he one of his friends?

    SCA. No, Sir; on the contrary, he's his greatest enemy.

    SIL. His greatest enemy?

    SCA. Yes.

    SIL. Ah! zounds! I am delighted at it. (To ARGANTE) You are an enemy of that scoundrel Argante, are you?

    SCA. Yes, yes; I assure you that it is so.

    SIL. (shaking ARGANTE'S hand roughly). Shake hands, shake hands. I give you my word, I swear upon my honour, by the sword I wear, by all the oaths I can take, that, before the day is over, I shall have delivered you of that rascally knave, of that scoundrel Argante. Trust me.

    SCA. But, Sir, violent deeds are not allowed in this country.

    SIL. I don't care, and I have nothing to lose.

    SCA. He will certainly take his precautions; he has relations, friends, servants, who will take his part against you.

    SIL. Blood and thunder! It is all I ask, all I ask. (Drawing his sword.) Ah! s'death! ah! s'blood! Why can I not meet him at this very moment, with all these relations and friends of his? If he would only appear before me, surrounded by a score of them! Why do they not fall upon me, arms in hand? (Standing upon his guard.) What! you villains! you dare to attack me? Now, s'death! Kill and slay! (He lunges out on all sides; as if he were fighting many people at once.) No quarter; lay on. Thrust. Firm. Again. Eye and foot. Ah! knaves! ah! rascals! ah! you shall have a taste of it. I'll give you your fill. Come on, you rabble! come on. That's what you want, you there. You shall have your fill of it, I say. Stick to it, you brutes; stick to it. Now, then, parry; now, then, you. (Turning towards ARGANTE and SCAPIN.) Parry this; parry. You draw back? Stand firm, man! S'death! What! Never flinch, I say.

    SCA. Sir, we have nothing to do with it.

    SIL. That will teach you to trifle with me.

    SCENE X.--ARGANTE, SCAPIN.

    SCA. Well, Sir, you see how many people are killed for two hundred pistoles. Now I wish you a good morning.

    ARG. (all trembling). Scapin.

    SCA. What do you say?

    ARG. I will give the two hundred pistoles.

    SCA. I am very glad of it, for your sake.

    ARG. Let us go to him; I have them with me.

    SCA. Better give them to me. You must not, for your honour, appear in this business, now that you have passed for another; and, besides, I should be afraid that he would ask you for more, if he knew who you are.

    ARG. True; still I should be glad to see to whom I give my money.

    SCA. Do you mistrust me then?

    ARG. Oh no; but....

    SCA. Zounds! Sir; either I am a thief or an honest man; one or the other. Do you think I would deceive you, and that in all this I have any other interest at heart than yours and that of my master, whom you want to take into your family? If I have not all your confidence, I will have no more to do with all this, and you can look out for somebody else to get you out of the mess.

    ARG. Here then.

    SCA. No, Sir; do not trust your money to me. I would rather you trusted another with your message.

    ARG. Ah me! here, take it.

    SCA. No, no, I tell you; do not trust me. Who knows if I do not want to steal your money from you?

    ARG. Take it, I tell you, and don't force me to ask you again. However, mind you have an acknowledgment from him.

    SCA. Trust me; he hasn't to do with an idiot.

    ARG. I will go home and wait for you.

    SCA. I shall be sure to go. (Alone.) That one's all right; now for the other. Ah! here he is. They are sent one after the other to fall into my net.

    SCENE XI.--GÉRONTE, SCAPIN.

    SCA. (affecting not to see GÉRONTE). O Heaven! O unforeseen misfortune! O unfortunate father! Poor Géronte, what will you do?

    GER. (aside). What is he saying there with that doleful face?

    SCA. Can no one tell me whereto find Mr. Géronte?

    GER. What is the matter, Scapin?

    SCA. (running about on the stage, and still affecting not to see or hear GÉRONTE). Where could I meet him, to tell him of this misfortune?

    GER. (stopping SCAPIN). What is the matter?

    SCA. (as before). In vain I run everywhere to meet him. I cannot find him.

    GER. Here I am.

    SCA. (as before). He must have hidden himself in some place which nobody can guess.

    GER. (stopping SCAPIN again). Ho! I say, are you blind? Can't you see me?

    SCA. Ah! Sir, it is impossible to find you.

    GER. I have been near you for the last half-hour. What is it all about?

    SCA. Sir....

    GER. Well!

    SCA. Your son, Sir....

    GER. Well! My son....

    SCA. Has met with the strangest misfortune you ever heard of.

    GER. What is it?

    SCA. This afternoon I found him looking very sad about something which you had said to him, and in which you had very improperly mixed my name. While trying: to dissipate his sorrow, we went and walked about in the harbour. There, among other things, was to be seen a Turkish galley. A young Turk, with a gentlemanly look about him, invited us to go in, and held out his hand to us. We went in. He was most civil to us; gave us some lunch, with the most excellent fruit and the best wine you have ever seen.

    GER. What is there so sad about all this?

    SCA. Wait a little; it is coming. Whilst we were eating, the galley left the harbour, and when in the open sea, the Turk made me go down into a boat, and sent me to tell you that unless you sent by me five hundred crowns, he would take your son prisoner to Algiers.

    GER. What! five hundred crowns!

    SCA. Yes, Sir; and, moreover, he only gave me two hours to find them in.

    GER. Ah! the scoundrel of a Turk to murder me in that fashion!

    SCA. It is for you, Sir, to see quickly about the means of saving from slavery a son whom you love so tenderly.

    GER. What the deuce did he want to go in that galley for? [Footnote: Que diable allait-il faire dans cette galère? This sentence has become established in the language with the meaning, "Whatever business had he there?"]

    SCA. He had no idea of what would happen.

    GER. Go, Scapin, go quickly, and tell that Turk that I shall send the police after him.

    SCA. The police in the open sea! Are you joking?

    GER. What the deuce did he want to go in that galley for?

    SCA. A cruel destiny will sometimes lead people.

    GER. Listen, Scapin; you must act in this the part of a faithful servant.

    SCA. How, Sir?

    GER. You must go and tell that Turk that he must send me back my son, and that you will take his place until I have found the sum he asks.

    SCA. Ah! Sir; do you know what you are saying? and do you fancy that that Turk will be foolish enough to receive a poor wretch like me in your son's stead?

    GER. What the deuce did he want to go in that galley for?

    SCA. He could not foresee his misfortune. However, Sir, remember that he has given me only two hours.

    GER. You say that he asks....

    SCA. Five hundred crowns.

    GER. Five hundred crowns! Has he no conscience?

    SCA. Ah! ah! Conscience in a Turk!

    GER. Does he understand what five hundred crowns are?

    SCA. Yes, Sir, he knows that five hundred crowns are one thousand five hundred francs. [Footnote: The écu stands usually for petit écu, which equalled three franks. "Crown," employed in a general sense, seems the only translation possible.]

    GER. Does the scoundrel think that one thousand five hundred francs are to be found in the gutter?

    SCA. Such people will never listen to reason.

    GER. But what the deuce did he want to go in that galley for?

    SCA. Ah! what a waste of words! Leave the galley alone; remember that time presses, and that you are running the risk of losing your son for ever. Alas! my poor master, perhaps I shall never see you again, and that at this very moment, whilst I am speaking to you, they are taking you away to make a slave of you in Algiers! But Heaven is my witness that I did all I could, and that, if you are not brought back, it is all owing to the want of love of your father.

    GER. Wait a minute, Scapin; I will go and fetch that sum of money.

    SCA. Be quick, then, for I am afraid of not being in time.

    GER. You said four hundred crowns; did you not?

    SCA. No, five hundred crowns.

    GER. Five hundred crowns!

    SCA. Yes.

    GER. What the deuce did he want to go in that galley for?

    SCA. Quite right, but be quick.

    GER. Could he not have chosen another walk?

    SCA. It is true; but act promptly.

    GER. Cursed galley!

    SCA. (aside) That galley sticks in his throat.

    GER. Here, Scapin; I had forgotten that I have just received this sum in gold, and I had no idea it would so soon be wrenched from me. (Taking his purse out of his pocket, and making as if he were giving it to SCAPIN.) But mind you tell that Turk that he is a scoundrel.

    SCA. (holding out his hand). Yes.

    GER. (as above). An infamous wretch.

    SCA. (still holding out his hand). Yes.

    GER. (as above). A man without conscience, a thief.

    SCA. Leave that to me.

    GER. (as above). That....

    SCA. All right.

    GER. (as above). And that, if ever I catch him, he will pay for it.

    SCA. Yes.

    GER. (putting back the purse in his pocket). Go, go quickly, and fetch my son.

    SCA. (running after him). Hallo! Sir.

    GER. Well?

    SCA. And the money?

    GER. Did I not give it to you?

    SCA. No, indeed, you put it back in pour pocket.

    GER. Ah! it is grief which troubles my mind.

    SCA. So I see.

    GER. What the deuce did he want to go in that galley for? Ah! cursed galley! Scoundrel of a Turk! May the devil take you!

    SCAPIN (alone). He can't get over the five hundred crowns I wrench from him; but he has not yet done with me, and I will make him pay in a different money his imposture about me to his son.

    SCENE XII.-OCTAVE, LÉANDRE, SCAPIN.

    OCT. Well, Scapin, have your plans been successful?

    LEA. Have you done anything towards alleviating my sorrow?

    SCA. (to OCTAVE). Here are two hundred pistoles I have got from your father.

    OCT. Ah! how happy you make me.

    SCA. (to LÉANDRE), But I could do nothing for you.

    LEA. (going away). Then I must die, Sir, for I could not live without Zerbinette.

    SCA. Hallo! stop, stop; my goodness, how quick you are!

    LEA. What can become of me?

    SCA. There, there, I have all you want.

    LEA. Ah! you bring me back to life again.

    SCA. But I give it you only on one condition, which is that you will allow me to revenge myself a little on your father for the trick he has played me.

    LEA. You may do as you please.

    SCA. You promise it to me before witnesses?

    LEA. Yes.

    SCA. There, take these five hundred crowns.

    LEA. Ah! I will go at once and buy her whom I adore.
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