(The scene represents a room in Gérontes house.)
Scene I.Géronte, Valère, Lucas, Jacqueline.
Valère. Yes, sir, I think you will be satisfied; we have brought the greatest physician in the world with us.
Lucas. Oh! Zooks! this one beats everything; all the others are not worthy to hold the candle to him.
Valère. He is a man who has performed some marvellous cures.
Lucas. Who has put dead people on their legs again.
Valère. He is somewhat whimsical, as I have told you; and at times there are moments when his senses wander, and he does not seem what he really is.
Lucas. Yes, he loves a joke, and one would say sometimes that he has got a screw loose somewhere.
Valère. But in reality he is quite scientific; and very often he says things quite beyond any ones comprehension.
Lucas. When he sets about it, he talks as finely as if he were reading a book.
Valère. He has already a great reputation hereabout, and everybody comes to consult him.
Géronte. I am very anxious to see him; send him to me quickly.
Valère. I am going to fetch him.
Scene II.Géronte, Jacqueline, Lucas.
Jacqueline. Upon my word, Sir, this one will do just the same as all the rest. I think it will be six of the one and half-a-dozen of the others; and the best medicine to give to your daughter would, in my opinion, be a handsome strapping husband, for whom she could have some love.
Géronte. Lord bless my soul, nurse dear, you are meddling with many things!
Lucas. Hold your tongue, mother Jacqueline; it is not for you to poke your nose there.
Jacqueline. I tell you, and a dozen more of you, that all these physicians do her no good; that your daughter wants something else than rhubarb and senna, and that a husband is a plaster which cures all girls complaints.
Géronte. Would any one have her in her present state, with that affliction on her? and when I intended her to marry, has she not opposed my wishes?
Jacqueline. No wonder. You wished to give her a man whom she does not like. Why did you not give her to Monsieur Léandre, who takes her fancy? She would have been very obedient, and I vouch for it that he will take her as she is, if you but give her to him.
Géronte. Léandre is not the man we want; he has not got a fortune like the other.
Jacqueline. He has got an uncle who is so rich, and he is the heir.
Géronte. All these expectations seem to me but moonshine. Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better; and we run a great risk in waiting for dead mens shoes. Death is not always at the beck and call of gentlemen heirs; and while the grass grows, the cow starves.
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