Act I. Scene 1
The public, arriving by degrees. Troopers, burghers, lackeys, pages, a pickpocket, the doorkeeper, etc., followed by the marquises. Cuigy, Brissaille, the buffet-girl, the violinists, etc.
(A confusion of loud voices is heard outside the door. A trooper enters hastily.)
THE DOORKEEPER (following him): Hollo! You there! Your money!
THE TROOPER: I enter gratis.
THE DOORKEEPER: Why?
THE TROOPER: Why? I am of the King's Household Cavalry, 'faith!
THE DOORKEEPER (to another trooper who enters): And you?
SECOND TROOPER: I pay nothing.
THE DOORKEEPER: How so?
SECOND TROOPER: I am a musketeer.
FIRST TROOPER (to the second): The play will not begin till two. The pit is empty. Come, a bout with the foils to pass the time.
(They fence with the foils they have brought.)
A LACKEY (entering): Pst . . . Flanquin . . . !
ANOTHER (already there): Champagne? . . .
THE FIRST (showing him cards and dice which he takes from his doublet): See, here be cards and dice. (He seats himself on the floor): Let's play.
THE SECOND (doing the same): Good; I am with you, villain!
FIRST LACKEY (taking from his pocket a candle-end, which he lights, and sticks on the floor): I made free to provide myself with light at my master's expense!
A GUARDSMAN (to a shop-girl who advances): 'Twas prettily done to come before the lights were lit!
(He takes her round the waist.)
ONE OF THE FENCERS (receiving a thrust): A hit!
ONE OF THE CARD-PLAYERS: Clubs!
THE GUARDSMAN (following the girl): A kiss!
THE SHOP-GIRL (struggling to free herself): They're looking!
THE GUARDSMAN (drawing her to a dark corner): No fear! No one can see!
A MAN (sitting on the ground with others, who have brought their provisions): By coming early, one can eat in comfort.
A BURGHER (conducting his son): Let us sit here, son.
A CARD-PLAYER: Triple ace!
A MAN (taking a bottle from under his cloak, and also seating himself on the floor): A tippler may well quaff his Burgundy (he drinks): in the Burgundy Hotel!
THE BURGHER (to his son): 'Faith! A man might think he had fallen in a bad house here! (He points with his cane to the drunkard): What with topers! (One of the fencers in breaking off, jostles him): brawlers! (He stumbles into the midst of the card-players): gamblers!
THE GUARDSMAN (behind him, still teasing the shop-girl): Come, one kiss!
THE BURGHER (hurriedly pulling his son away): By all the holies! And this, my boy, is the theater where they played Rotrou erewhile.
THE YOUNG MAN: Ay, and Corneille!
A TROOP OF PAGES (hand-in-hand, enter dancing the farandole, and singing): Tra' a la, la, la, la, la, la, la, lere . . .
THE DOORKEEPER (sternly, to the pages): You pages there, none of your tricks! . . .
FIRST PAGE (with an air of wounded dignity): Oh, sir! — such a suspicion! . . . (Briskly, to the second page, the moment the doorkeeper's back is turned): Have you string?