MASCARILLE. I? I say that our freedom will have trouble to get clear of this. At least mine has suffered most violent attacks--my heart hangs by a single thread.
MADELON. How natural is all he says! He gives things a most agreeable turn.
CATHOS. He must expend a tremendous lot of wit.
MASCARILLE. To show you that I am in earnest, I shall make some extempore verses upon my passion. [Seems to think.]
CATHOS. Oh! I beseech you by all that I hold sacred, let us hear something made upon us.
JODELET. I should be glad to do so too, but the quantity of blood that I have lost lately has exhausted my poetic vein.
MASCARILLE. Deuce take it! I always make the first verse well, but I find the others more difficult. Upon my word, this is too short a time; but I will make you some extempore verses at my leisure, which you shall think the finest in the world.
JODELET. He is devilish witty.
MADELON. And so gallant and expressive.
MASCARILLE. Viscount, tell me, when did you see the Countess last?
JODELET. I have not paid her a visit for three weeks.
MASCARILLE. You know, the Duke came to see me this morning, and wanted to take me out into the country deer hunting with him?
MADELON. Here come our friends.
MADELON. Well, my dears, we do hope you will pardon us. These gentlemen had a fancy to put life into our heels, and we sent for you to fill up the void of our assembly.
LUCILE. We are certainly much obliged to you.
MASCARILLE. This is a kind of extempore ball, mesdames, but one of these days we shall give you a formal dance. Have the fiddlers come?
ALMANZOR. Yes, monsieur, they are here.
CATHOS. Come then, my dears, take your places.
MASCARILLE [dancing by himself and singing]. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
MADELON. What a perfect figure he has.
CATHOS. He looks as if he were a really good dancer.
MASCARILLE [taking out MADELON to dance]. My freedom will dance a Couranto as well as my feet. Play in time, fiddlers, in time. Oh, what ignorant wretches! There is no dancing to them. The devil take you all, can you not play in time? La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la?' Steady, you country-scrapers!