CHACHO. I am to blame for it. Do not get excited. I will add 1,000 rubles to it, if need be, from the money I have laid by for my burial.
OSSEP. From your burial money? Have I already
fallen so low that I must ask alms? Keep your
money for yourself! I do not want it. Drop
that complaint also, for I am still rich, very rich.
How can it injure me that Santurian has failed?
I stand here firm and unshakable, and have inexhaustible
money resources. [Tearing his hair.] O God!
O God! [Walks to and fro excitedly.] Now I
will go and wish my son-in-law joy. Yes, I must
go so that I shall not make myself ridiculous to him.
The man is a government official!
[Exit right, laughing bitterly.
CHACHO. Gracious heaven, be thou our saviour and deliverer.
A richly furnished sales-room in Barssegh’s house.
MICHO. Two, three, four, five, six and this little piece. It does not measure so much!
BARSSEGH [standing up and giving Micho a rap on the nose]. You have what is lacking there. Measure again. Now you’ve got what is lacking. I will tear your soul out of your body if you measure so that in seven arschin it comes out one werschok short.
 Russian measure of length.
MICHO [measuring again]. O dear, O dear!
BARSSEGH. Look out, or I will take that “O dear” out of your ear. Be up and at it now!
MICHO. Oh, Mr. Barssegh! [Measuring.] One, two, three—
BARSSEGH. Stretch it, you blockhead.
MICHO [stretching the cotton]. Three, four. [Wipes the perspiration from his brow.]
BARSSEGH. What is the matter with you? You sweat as though you had a mule-pack on your back.
BARSSEGH. Pull it out more.
MICHO. Six and this little piece. It lacks three werschok again.
BARSSEGH [pulling his ears]. It lacks three werschok? There they are!
MICHO. Oh my, oh my!
BARSSEGH. You calf; will you ever develop into a man?
MICHO. O dear mother!
BARSSEGH [pulling him again by the ear]. Doesn’t it grow longer?
MICHO [crying]. Dear Mr. Barssegh, dear sir, let me go.
BARSSEGH. I want to teach you how to measure.
MICHO. It reaches, I say; it reaches, indeed; it reaches. Let me measure again.
BARSSEGH. Now take care that you make it seven arschin.
MICHO [aside]. Holy Karapet, help me. [Measuring.] One, two—
BARSSEGH. O you blockhead!
BARSSEGH Wake up!
BARSSEGH. Haven’t you seen how Dartscho measures?