Ah, ah! Here's a new story! What's this, what's this,
husband, this outfit you have on there? Don't you care what people think
of you when you are got up like that? And do you want yourself laughed
None but fools and dolts will laugh at me wife.
Truly, they haven't waited until now, your antics have
long given a laugh to everyone.
Everyone is everyone who is right and who is wiser
than you. For my part, I am scandalized at the life you lead. I no longer
recognize our house. One would say it's the beginning of Carnival here,
every day; and beginning early in the morning, so it won't be forgotten,
one hears nothing but the racket of fiddles and singers which disturbs
the whole neighborhood.
Madame speaks well. I'll never be able to get my housework done
properly with that gang you have come here. They have feet that hunt for
mud in every part of town to bring it here; and poor Françoise almost
has her teeth on the floor, scrubbing the boards that your fine masters
come to dirty up every day.
What, our servant Nicole, you have quite a tongue
for a peasant.
Nicole is right, and she has more sense than you. I'd
like to know what you think you're going to do with a Dancing Master, at
And with a hulking Fencing Master who comes stamping his feet,
shaking the whole house and tearing up all the floorboards in our drawing-room.
Be quiet, both servant and wife!
Is it that you're learning to dance for the time when
you'll have no legs to dance on?
Yes, prose. Everything is prose that is not verse;
and everything that's not verse is prose. There! This is what it is to
study! And you (to Nicole), do you know what you must do to say
It enrages me when I see these ignorant women.
Go, go, you ought to send all those people packing
with their foolishness.
And above all, that great gawk of a Fencing Master, who ruins
all my work with dust.
Well! This Fencing Master seems to get under your
skin. I'll soon show you how impertinent you are.(He has the
brought and gives one to Nicole). There. Demonstration: The line of
the body. When your opponent thrusts in quarte, you need only do this,
and when they thrust in tierce, you need only do this. That is the way
never to be killed, and isn't it fine to be assured of what one does, when
fighting against someone? There, thrust at me a little, to see.
Well then, what? (Nicole thrusts, giving him several
Easy! Wait! Oh! Gently! Devil take the hussy!
Yes, but you thrust in tierce, before you thrust
in quarte, and you didn't have the patience to let me parry.
You are a fool, husband, with all your fantasies, and
this has come to you since you took a notion to associate with the nobility.
When I associate with the nobility, I show my good
judgment; and that's better than associating with your shopkeepers.
Oh yes, truly! There's a great deal to gain by consorting
with your nobles, and you did so well with your fine Count you were so
Peace! Think what you're saying. You know very well,
wife, that you don't know who you're talking about, when you talk about
him! He's a more important person than you think: a great Lord, respected
at court, and who talks to the King just as I talk to you. Is it not a
thing which does me great honor, that a person of this quality is seen
to come so often to my house, who calls me his dear friend and treats me
as if I were his equal? He has more regard for me than one would ever imagine;
and, in front of everyone, he shows me so much affection that I am embarrassed
Yes, he has a kindness for you, and shows his affection,
but he borrows your money.
So! Isn't it an honor for me to lend money to a man
of that condition? And can I do less for a lord who calls me his dear friend?
And this lord, what does he do for you?
Things that would astonish you if you knew them.