MAR. I feel somehow as if I fain must shout:
Ho! laughing lassies, will you play at love?
Let’s play together, let’s play the game of buy and sell:
Who’ll give a penny for my guileless heart?
(Pushing through the crowd, RUDOLPH_ and MIMI, arm in arm, approach a bonnet shop._)
RUD. Let’s go!
MIMI. To buy the bonnet?
RUD. Hold tightly to my arm, love!
(They enter the bonnet shop.)
(SCHAUNARD strolls about in front of the Cafe Momus, waiting for his friends, and, armed with his huge pipe and hunting horn, he watches the crowd curiously.)
SCH. Surging onward—eager, breathless—
Moves the madding crowd,
As they frolic ever
In their wild, insane endeavor.
COL. (comes up, waving an old book in triumph)
Such a rare copy! well-nigh unique,
A grammar of Runic!
SCH. (who arrives at that moment behind COLLINE,
MAR. (arriving at the Cafe Momus, and finding
SCH. and COL. Ho! Rudolph!
MAR. He’s gone to buy a bonnet.
(MARCEL, SCHAUNARD and COLLINE try to find an empty table outside the cafe, but there is only one, which is occupied by townsfolk. At these latter the three friends glare furiously, and then enter the cafe. The crowd disperses among the adjacent streets. The shops are crowded and the square becomes densely thronged with buyers who come and go. In the cafe there is much animation. RUDOLPH and MIMI come out of the shop.)
RUD. (to MIMI)
Come along! my friends are waiting.
MIMI. Do you think this rose-trimmed bonnet suits me?
RUD. The color suits your dark complexion.
MIMI. (looking into the window of a bonnet shop) O what a pretty necklace!
RUD. I have an aunt a millionaire.
If the good God wills to take her,
Then shall you have a necklace far more fine.
(suddenly seeing MIMI look round suspiciously)
What is it?
MIMI. Are you jealous?
RUD. The man in love is always jealous, darling.
MIMI. Are you then in love?
RUD. (squeezing her arm in his)
Yes, so much in love!
MIMI. Yes, deeply.
(Enter from the cafe, COLLINE, SCHAUNARD and MARCEL carrying a table. A waiter follows with chairs. The townsfolks seated near seem vexed at the noise which the three friends are making, for they soon get up and walk away.)
COL. The vulgar herd I hate, just as I did Horace.
SCH. And I, when I am eating,
I can’t stand being crowded.
MAR. (to the waiter) Smartly!
SCH. For many!
MAR. We want a supper of the choicest!