KHALI. I wish water lay in front of him and a drawn sword behind.
BARSSEGH. This fellow is a veritable curse!
KHALI. Yes, he is, indeed.
BARSSEGH. The devil take him! If he is going to utter such slanders, I hope he will always do it here, and not do me harm with outsiders.
KHALI. You are to blame for it yourself. Why do you have anything to do with the good-for-nothing fellow?
BARSSEGH. There you go! Do I have anything to do with him? He is always at my heels, like my own shadow.
KHALI. Can’t you forbid him to enter your doors?
BARSSEGH. So that he will not let me pass by in the streets? Do you want him to make me the talk of the town?
KHALI. Then don’t speak to him any more.
BARSSEGH. As if I took pleasure in it! It is all the same to him whether one speaks to him or not.
KHALI. What are we to do with him, then?
BARSSEGH [angrily]. Why do you fasten yourself on to me like a gadfly? Have I not trouble enough already? [Beating his hands together.] How could you let him escape? You are good for nothing!
KHALI. What could I do, then, if you were stingy about the money? If you had promised the 10,000 rubles, you would have seen how easily and quickly everything would have been arranged.
BARSSEGH. If he insists upon so much he may go to the devil. For 10,000 rubles I will find a better man for my daughter.
KHALI. I know whom you mean. Give me the money and I will arrange the thing to-day.
BARSSEGH [derisively]. Give it! How easily you can say it! Is that a mulberry-tree, then, that one has only to shake and thousands will fall from it? Don’t hold my rubles so cheaply; for every one of them I have sold my soul twenty times.
KHALI. If I can only get sight of that insolent
Salome, I’ll shake a cart-load of dirt over
her head. Only let her meet me!
BARSSEGH [alone]. And you shall see what I will do! Only wait, my dear Ossep! I am getting a day of joy ready for you and you will shed tears as thick as my thumb. I have been looking for the chance a long time, and now fate has delivered you into my hands. You braggart, you shall see how you will lie at my feet. I am the son of the cobbler Matus. There are certain simpletons who shake their heads over those who had nothing and suddenly amount to something. But I tell you that this world is nothing more than a great honey-cask. He who carries away the best part for himself, without letting the others come near it, he is the man to whom praise and honor are due. But a man who stands aside, like Ossep, and waits till his turn comes is an ass.
BARSSEGH. Ah, Dartscho! How quickly you have come!