Act V

Scene I.—Harpagon, a Magistrate.

Magistrate. Let me manage it; I know my business, thank Heaven. To-day is not the first time that I am engaged in discovering robberies; and I should like to have as many bags of a thousand francs as the number of people I have helped hang.

Harpagon. Every magistrate must have an interest in taking this matter in hand; and, if they do not enable me to find my money again, I shall demand justice upon the authorities themselves.

Magistrate. We must take all the needful steps. You said that there was in this box …

Harpagon. Ten thousand crowns in cash.

Magistrate. Ten thousand crowns!

Harpagon (crying). Ten thousand crowns.

Magistrate. The robbery is considerable!

Harpagon. There is no punishment great enough for the enormity of this crime; and, if it remain unpunished, the most sacred things are no longer safe.

Magistrate. And in what coin was this sum?

Harpagon. In good louis d’or and pistoles without a flaw.

Magistrate. Whom do you suspect of this robbery?

Harpagon. Every one; and I wish you to arrest the town and the suburbs.

Magistrate. You must, if you will take my opinion, scare nobody, but endeavour gently to collect some proofs, in order to act afterwards, by severer process, to recover the coin which has been taken from you.

Scene II.—Harpagon, a Magistrate, Master Jacques.

Jacques (at the far end of the stage, turning towards the door by which he entered). I am coming back directly. Let its throat be cut immediately; let them singe me its feet; let them put it in boiling water, and let them hang it from the ceiling.

Harpagon. Who? he who has robbed me?

Jacques. I am speaking of a sucking pig which your steward has just sent in, and I wish to dress it for you after my own fancy.

Harpagon. There is no question of that; and this is a gentleman to whom you must speak of something else.

Magistrate (to Master Jacques). Do not be alarmed. I am not the man to cause any scandal, and matters will be managed in a gentle way.

Jacques. Is this gentleman of the supper party?

Magistrate. In this case, dear friend, you must hide nothing from your master.

Jacques. Upon my word, Sir, I shall show all I know, and I shall treat you in the best possible way.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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