DU CROISY: Mr. La Grange.
LA GRANGE: What?
DU CROISY: Look at me for a moment without laughing.
LA GRANGE: Well?
DU CROISY: What do you say of our visit? Are you quite pleased with it?
LA GRANGE: Do you think either of us has any reason to be so?
DU CROISY: Not at all, to say the truth.
LA GRANGE: As for me, I must acknowledge I was quite shocked at it. Pray now, did ever anybody see a couple of country wenches giving themselves more ridiculous airs, or two men treated with more contempt than we were? They could hardly make up their mind to order chairs for us. I never saw such whispering as there was between them; such yawning, such rubbing of the eyes, and asking so often what o'clock it was. Did they answer anything else but "yes," or "no," to what we said to them? In short, do you not agree with me that if we had been the meanest persons in the world, we could not have been treated worse?
DU CROISY: You seem to take it greatly to heart.
LA GRANGE: No doubt I do; so much so, that I am resolved to be revenged on them for their impertinence. I know well enough why they despise us. Affectation has not alone infected Paris, but has also spread into the country, and our ridiculous damsels have sucked in their share of it. In a word, they are a strange medley of coquetry and affectation. I plainly see what kind of persons will be well received by them; if you will take my advice, we will play them such a trick as shall show them their folly, and teach them to distinguish a little better the people they have to deal with.
DU CROISY: How can you do this?
LA GRANGE: I have a certain valet, named Mascarille, who, in the opinion of many people, passes for a kind of wit; for nothing now-a-days is easier than to acquire such a reputation. He is an extraordinary fellow, who has taken it into his head to ape a person of quality. He usually prides himself on his gallantry and his poetry, and despises so much the other servants that he calls them brutes.
DU CROISY: What do you mean to do with him?
LA GRANGE: What do I mean to do with him? He must . . . but first, let us be gone.