SCENE I.--HARPAGON, CLÉANTE, ÉLISE, VALÈRE; DAME CLAUDE (holding a
broom), MASTER JACQUES, LA MERLUCHE, BRINDAVOINE.
HAR. Here, come here, all of you; I must give you orders for by and by, and arrange
what each one will have to do. Come nearer, Dame Claude; let us begin with you.
(Looking at her broom.) Good; you are ready armed, I see. To you I commit the care of
cleaning up everywhere; but, above all, be very careful not to rub the furniture too hard,
for fear of wearing it out. Besides this, I put the bottles under your care during supper,
and if any one of them is missing, or if anything gets broken, you will be responsible for
it, and pay it out of your wages.
JAC. (aside). A shrewd punishment that.
HAR. (to DAME CLAUDE.) Now you may go.
SCENE II.--HARPAGON, CLÉANTE, ÉLISE, VALÈRE, MASTER JACQUES,
BRINDAVOINE, LA MERLUCHE.
HAR. To you, Brindavoine, and to you, La Merluche, belongs the duty of washing the
glasses, and of giving to drink, but only when people are thirsty, and not according to the
custom of certain impertinent lackeys, who urge them to drink, and put the idea into their
heads when they are not thinking about it. Wait until you have been asked several times,
and remember always to have plenty of water.
JAC. (aside). Yes; wine without water gets into one's head.
LA MER. Shall we take off our smocks, Sir?
HAR. Yes, when you see the guests coming; but be very careful not to spoil your clothes.
BRIND. You know, Sir, that one of the fronts of my doublet is covered with a large stain
of oil from the lamp.
LA MER. And I, Sir, that my breeches are all torn behind, and that, saving your
HAR. (to LA MERLUCHE). Peace! Turn carefully towards the wall, and always face the
company. (To BRINDAVOINE, showing him how he is to hold his hat before his
doublet, to hide the stain of oil) And you, always hold your hat in this fashion when you
wait on the guests.
SCENE III.--HARPAGON; CLÉANTE, ÉLISE, VALÈRE, MASTER JACQUES.