From its point of view, both the miser and the usurer were guilty of the cardinal sin of avarice and the two were often confounded. Those with wealth are in need of the prayers of the poor for their salvation and can only earn them by acts of charity. Accounts of misers were included in such 19th century works as G. Wilson's four-volume compendium of short biographies, The Eccentric Mirror
It was loosely based on the Latin comedy Aulularia by Plautusfrom which many incidents and scraps of dialogue are borrowed, as well as from contemporary Italian farces. He is obsessed with the wealth he has amassed and always ready to save expenses.
Although he is over sixty, he is attempting to arrange a marriage between himself and an attractive young woman, Mariane. The complications are only resolved at the end by the rather conventional discovery that some of the principal characters are long lost relatives.
The play also makes fun of certain theatrical conventions, such as the spoken aside addressed to the audience, hitherto ignored by the characters onstage.
He builds his wealth by lending at usurious rate while pinching every penny at home, refusing to replace the worn-out clothes of the servants he abuses. Intending to run away with her, he attempts to procure an illegal loan to provide Mariane and her ill mother with money, only to discover the lender is his own father.
There is mutual resentment between the two over not only money but over love when Harpagon tricks his son into revealing his love for Mariane. Harpagon mistrusts him and suspects him of wanting to rob him.
Master Jacques Master Jacques is cook and coachman to Harpagon.
Valere explains to the audience how he has assumed the role of a servant to be closer to Elise. They met when he rescued her from drowning and they fell in love.
Harpagon enters, angry with La Fleche for hanging around. He suspects him of stealing something from him. La Fleche is angry at being suspected and points out that Harpagon is so careful with his money that it would be impossible to steal it. Harpagon confides in the audience expresing anxiety about the large sum of money he has buried in the garden.
As Cleante and Elise enter he is again fearful that they might have heard what he is saying about the hidden money. When they approach Harpagon thinks that they are plotting to steal from him. They are actually trying to work out how to broach the subject of marriage with him since they have both found people they want to marry.
Harpagon also wants to discuss marriage with them and he mentions a young girl called Mariane. Harpagon wants to know what Cleante thinks of her.
Cleante is shocked and rushes off the stage. Meanwhile, Harpagon says that Elise has to marry Seigneur Anselme. Harpagon asks Valere for his opinion on the matter. Valere reassures Elise that somehow they will sort things out later.
Act II Cleante expresses his frustration that he and his father are rivals in love with the same woman but plans to keep his own sentiments secret while he tries to secure funds to help Mariane and her mother.
Cleante has dispatched La Fleche to meet with a money-lender. Maitre Simon has acted as an intermediary between La Fleche and the money-lender until the deal is done so as to protect his identity.
La Fleche explains that there are some conditions attached to the loan. Cleante is ready to accept them whatever they are, so long as he can get money to give to his beloved. Cleante is resentful but feels trapped by his desire for the money.
Meanwhile, Maitre Simon enters with Harpagon discussing a young man who wants to borrow from Harpagon. Harpagon is displeased that Cleante is trying to borrow money from someone else.
Cleante, dismissed by his father, expresses disgust and leaves. Master Jacques insists that he can only produce excellent food if given money. Harpagon wants his carriage cleaning and horses getting ready.
He is so angry with Cleante for wasting his money. Elise arrives, is introduced to Mariane, announcing that someone has brought Harpagon some money. Harpagon quickly exits while Cleante and Elise escort Mariane on a tour of the garden.miser - Translation to Spanish, pronunciation, and forum discussions.
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Nov 11, · (derogatory) A person who hoards money rather than spending it; one who is cheap or extremely parsimonious. Ebenezer Scrooge was a stereotypical miser: he spent nothing he could save, neither giving to charity nor enjoying his wealth.· A kind of earth auger, typically large-bored and often hand-operated.··(gambling) to bet (place a bet).