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lower their dignity by dabbling in love affairs?

Lea. You needn't make such a racket!

Sgan. I shall make as much noise as I please, you impudent scoundrel! Lea. Gently, gently, Monsieur! Sgan. Puppy!

Lea. Oh, I beseech you!

Sgan. I'll teach you to insult one of my rank and

Lea. (Giving him a purse) Please, Monsieur, accept

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Sgan. Well, this is I was not speaking of you of course not the idea! You are a gentleman, and I am your most obedient servant. I was saying that there are some impudent puppies in the world who think they can insult me; and I can't help getting angry at them.

Lea. I beg your pardon, Monsieur, for the liberty

Sgan. Don't say another word. What is the business in hand, now?

Lea. I must tell you, Monsieur, that Lucinde's malady is a mere pretence. The doctors don't know a thing about it. I tell you, love's the cause. She has pretended this illness to escape that odious marriage with Cléante. Come with me, please, and I shall tell you all about it on the way. Sgan. Very well, Monsieur. You have interested me so much in your affair that I promise you the patient shall either be yours or die.

(They go out and return a moment later, LEANDRE disguised as an apothe

cary.)

Lea. I don't think I make a bad apothecary! I shall deceive her father without any trouble.

Sgan. No doubt at all.

Lea. I wish I knew five or six long Latin words to mix with my conversation. Then I should be a learned

man.

Sgan. Nonsense; it's not necessary. The dress is sufficient. I don't know any more about medicine than you do. Lea. How's that?

Sgan. Deuce take me if I know a thing about it. I shall confide in you, Monsieur.

Lea. What! you're not really?

Sgan. Of course not. They made. me a doctor. I don't know anything. I tell you. I left school at the end of the sixth form. But now I'm a doctor. A shoemaker who spoils a pair of shoes is blamed for it. But when we doctors make a slip, our dead patients never blame us. They can never tell what medicine killed them. Here come some people who want to be cured. Let's get out of their way. Go and wait for me near Lucinde's home. (LÉANDRE goes out. Enter JACQUELINE and LUCAS.) Here is a monster nurse! Ah, nurse of my heart, I am charmed to meet you; the sight of you is like cassia, rhubarb and senna to me, and when you

Jac. Gracious me, Mr. Doctor, it's no use talkin' to me that way. I don't understand a single word of your Latin.

Sgan. It is not necessary for one to know Latin nowadays. Who's this? (Hides)

(Enter GERONTE.)

Ger. Lucas, have you seen our doctor lately?

Lucas. Yes, Monsieur, I've seen

him.

Ger. Where is he? Lucas. I don't know.

Ger. Go and see what my daughter is doing. (LUCAS goes out. Enter SGANARELLE and LEANDRE.) Ah, Monsieur, I was looking for you.

Sgan. Well, I was coming. How is the patient?

Ger. She is somewhat worse since taking your remedy.

Sgan. So much the better; she is going to be cured.

Ger. Possibly, but I think she will choke before then.

Sgan. Don't be anxious about her. I have some further remedies in case all others fail.

Ger. Who is that man with you?
Sgan. He is an apothecary.
Ger. Ah, I see.

Sgan. Your daughter will need him, I feel sure.

(Enter JACQUELINE and LUCINDE.)

Jac. Here is your daughter, master; she wished to walk about a little.

Sgan. That is the best thing for her. Feel her pulse, Apothecary, I shall consult about further measures. (He draws GERONTE over to the opposite side of the stage and turns him away from LUCINDE and LEANDRE.

Each time GERONTE starts to turn round, SGANARELLE prevents him.) Monsieur, it is a grave question among us doctors. For, Monsieur, as I said before, I think it highly probable that with the inequality of such peccant

--

(LUCINDE is heard muttering.) Ger. Listen! my daughter spoke! Oh, great doctor, excellent doctor! What miracles you perform! How

can I ever repay you for the great service you have done me!

Sgan. (Strutting about and stroking his beard) Hem! Hem! This has been a very troublesome case indeed.

Luc. Yes, Father, I have recovered my speech, but only to tell you that I will marry no one but Léandre, and that it is useless to try to force me to accept Cléante

Ger. But I shall

Luc. Nothing can shake my resolution.

Ger. What is this? Am I to -? Luc. All your arguments are useless.

Ger. But I will force you to marry him, and if you don't

Luc. I will not submit to such tyranny. No, no, no! (She says this last in a shrill and piercing voice.)

Ger. My, oh, my! Doctor, I beseech you to make her dumb again! My fortune will be yours if you do it.

Sgan. My utmost skill can but make you deaf, which is some consolation.

Ger. Many thanks! (To LUCINDE) And as for you, you will marry Cléante this very evening.

Luc. I would sooner die!

Sgan. Stop this wrangling at once. I know a remedy that will cure her. Ger. Is it possible?

Sgan. Certainly. Just let me arrange it. I shall need the apothecary. (To LEANDRE, aside) One word, Monsieur. The only remedy I know of in this case is one matrimonium pill. You must persuade her to take the medicine at once. Give her also a dose of elopement. Go into the garden now and persuade her to take these

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