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Master Patelin, it is a great hardship indeed, to which I put myself because of this. And the loss and cost! Here a shepherd kills your sheep, I have a case against one of those scoundrels right now. The weavers ask pay like goldsmiths. But to me this is all of little account.

So long as I please those who buy.

Patelin.-I am sorry I am not out to do any buying just now, tho I am tempted to.

The Draper.-Business bad? Money scarce?

Patelin.—No, indeed not. I have a nice little sum of gold crowns,

but I am about to invest them in something profitable

It's as strong as iron this cloth here. (Examining it) The Draper.—You may take my word for it, Master, there is not a finer or stronger in town. What's more, it can be bought cheap just now. Patelin.—Aye, it's a fine piece of cloth, Master Joceaulme. But then I shouldn't

yet The Draper.—Come Master Patelin. You need the cloth and have the money to buy. A man should always have a gown tucked away in the coffer. What would you say if some fine day, comes along the town crier shouting: there has been a new judge appointed and it is Master Pa

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Patelin.You must have your little joke, worthy Sir. Just like your father. I would pass his shop,—a friendly chat and there I was my purse much the lighter for it. But I never regretted it, never.

The Draper.You wouldn't now, either. It's well worth buying. Patelin.-It tempts me.

It would look well on my good wife.

The Draper.-It needs but your saying. Come, what's the word, Master?

Patelin.-Well
The Draper.-It's yours even tho you hadn't a copper.
Patelin (Somewhat absent-minded).—Oh, I know that.
The Draper.-What?
Patelin.I'll take it.
The Draper. That's talking. How much do
Patelin.-How much is it per yard?

The Draper. You want a rock bottom price, no haggling. This is the finest piece in my shop. For you I'll make it twentyone sous per yard.

you want?

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Patelin.—Holy Saints, Master. What do you take me for? A fool? It isn't the first time I am buying cloth.

The Draper.-It's the price I paid for it myself; by all the Saints in heaven.

Patelin.—That's too much, entirely too much.

The Draper.-Wool costs like holy oil now; and these shepherds are forever robbing me.

Patelin.--Well, there is truth in what you say. I'll take it at the price. I like to see every man make his honest penny. Measure it.

The Draper.-How much do you want?

Patelin.-Let me see. Two and a half for her, three for me, that makes five and a half.

The Draper.—Take hold there, Master, here they are:(Measuring out) one two

three
four

five I'll make it six. You'll not mind the few coppers more.

Patelin.-Not when I get something fine in return.
The Draper.-Would you like me to measure it backwards?
Patelin.--Oh, no, I trust your honesty. How much is it?

The Draper.—Six yards at twenty-one sous the yard,—that's exactly nine francs. Patelin.-Nine francs

(Under his breath) Here it goes. Nine francs.

The Draper.-Yes and a good bargain you got.
Patelin (Searching his pockets).-No

I have but little with me,--and I must buy some small things. You'll get your money tomorrow. The Draper.-What!!! ... No

No Patelin.-Well, good Master Joceaulme, you don't think I carry gold coin with me, do you? You'd have me give thieves a good chance to steal it? Your father trusted me many a time. And you,

Master William, should take after your father.
The Draper.--- It's bad custom to sell on credit.

Patelin.-Did I ask you for credit: for a month,-a week, a day? Come to my house at noon, and you will find your money ready. Does that satisfy you?

The Draper.-I prefer my money cash,-on the purchase

Patelin. And then Master Williamu, you have not been to my house for I don't know how long. Your father was there many a time,--but you don't seem to care for poor folk like myself.

.

.

The Draper. It's we merchants who are poor. We have no bags of gold lying idle for investments.

Patelin.--They are there, Master, waiting for you. And my good wife put a fine goose on the spit just when I left. You can have a tender wing. Your father always liked it. The Draper.—Perhaps

It's true; I haven't been to your house for a long time. I'll come at noon and bring the cloth with me.

Patelin (Snatching the cloth from him).—Oh, I would never trouble you. I can carry it.

The Draper.-But

Patelin.--No, good Sir, not for the wealth of the East. I would not think of asking you to carry it for me. The Draper.-I'd rather

well

I'll soon be there, Master. I'll come before the noon meal. Don't forget the nine francs. Patelin.-Ay, I'll not. And there'll be a bottle of red wine and a fine, fat goose.

Be certain to come. (Exit PATELIN.)

The Draper.—That I will right soon. Ho, ho, ho,-ha, ha, ha,—the fool! A good bargain he got! Twenty-one sous the yard. It isn't worth one-half that. And on top of it a fine dinner

Burgundy wine and a roasted goose! For a customer like that every day! Now I'll take in my cloth. I'll soon to his house. (Takes up the cloth and leaves.)

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SCENE III
The back curtains are drawn aside showing Patelin's chamber.
Patelin (Running in).-Wife, wife

(GUILLEMETTE enters, the old gown in her hand.) Well, Madam. I've got it,

right here I have it. What did I tell you?

Guillemette.—What have you?

Patelin.—Something you desire greatly. But what are you doing with this old rag? I think it will do well for a bed for your cat. I did promise you a new gown and get you one I did.

Guillemette.—Did you drink anything on the way?
Patelin (Displaying the cloth).—Here it is!

Guillemette.--Holy Virgin! Where did you steal it? What kind of a scrape have you gotten into now?

Patelin.—You need not worry, good Dame. It's paid for

and well paid at that. It cost nine francs, fair Lady a bottle of red wine

and the wing of a roast

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ed goose.

Guillemette.--Are you crazy? Goose!!!

Patelin.-Ay, ay. I paid for it as it behooves one of the learned profession of law: in promissory statements. And the merchant who took them is no fool either, oh no; not a fool at all; but a very wise man, and shrewd

Guillemette.-Who was he? How

Patelin. He is the king of asses, the Pope of Idiots, the chancellor of baboons

our worthy neighbor, the longnosed Draper, Master Joceaulme

Guillemette.-Will you cease this jabbering and tell me how it happened?

Patelin.—Ah, wife! My head! My knowledge of the law! I turned him into a noble and fine lord. I told him what a jewel his father was; I laid on him all the nine virtues thick as wax, and,

in the end he trusted me most willingly with six yards of his fine cloth.

Guillemette.--Ho, ho, ho, you are a marvel! And when does he expect to get paid?

Patelin.-By noon.

Guillemette.-Holy Lord, what will we do when he comes for the money?

Patelin.--He'll be here for it and soon to boot. He must be dreaming even now of his nine francs, and his wine, and the goose. Oh, we'll give him a goose! Now you get the bed ready and I'll get in.

Guillemette.-What for?

Patelin.-As soon as he comes and asks for me, swear by all the Saints that I've been in bed here for the last two months. Tell it in a sad voice and with tears in your eyes. And if he says anything, shout at him to speak lower. If he cries: ‘my cloth, my money,' tell him he is crazy, that I haven't been from bed for weeks. And if he doesn't go with that, I'll dance him a little tune that'll make him wonder whether he is on earth or in hell. (PATELiN puts on his night-gown and cap. GuillEMETTE goes to the door and returns quickly.)

Guillemette.--He is coming, he is coming; what if he arrests you?

Patelin.—Don't worry; just do what I tell you. Quick, hide

the cloth under the bed clothes. Don't forget. I've been sick for two months.

Guillemette.- Quick, quick, here he is. (PATELiN gets into bed and draws the curtains. GUILLEMETTE sits down and begins to mend the old dress. The DRAPER enters.)

The Draper. Good day fair Dame.
Guillemette.Sh

for the Saint's sake. Speak low

er.

The Draper.-Why? What's the matter?
Guillemette.-You don't know!
The Draper.-Where is he?

Guillemette.-Alas! Nearer to Paradise than to earth. (Begins to cry.)

The Draper.-Who?

Guillemette.How can you be so heartless and ask me that, when you

know he has been in bed for the last eleven weeks. The Draper.—Who? Guillemette.—My husband,-Master Pierre, once a lawyer, and now a sick man

on his death-bed. The Draper.-What!!!!!

Guillemette (Crying).—You have not heard of it? Alas,and

The Draper.–And who was it just took six yards of cloth from my shop?

Guillemette.Alas! How am I to know. It was surely not he.

The Draper.You must be dreaming, good woman. Are you his wife? The wife of Pierre Patelin,-the lawyer?

Guillemette.-That I am, good Sir.

The Draper.—Then it was your husband,—who was such a good friend of my father, who came to my shop a quarter of an hour ago and bought six yards of cloth for nine francs. And now I am here for my money. Where is he?

Guillemette.—This is no time for joking, good Sir.
The Draper.Are you crazy? I want my money, that's all.

Guillemette.-Don't scream. It's little sleep he gets as it is. He has been in bed for nigh twelve weeks and hardly slept three nights.

The Draper. But that's a black lie. He was at my shop, but a quarter of an hour ago.

Patelin (Groaning from behind the curtain).-Au, au, au

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