The last member of the Femish envoy is a rough looking character clad in leather who the usher first mistakes for a servant who has lost his way. The man, however, vigorously announces himself as Jacques Coppenole, a hosier at the sign of the Three Chains of Ghent. Both the usher and the Cardinal defer to acknowledge the presence of this lesser personage but Coppenole, not believing his title to be any less exalted than the others, insists on being announced. The crowd immediately takes to this brash man. Coppenole gains the audiences complete favor, and the Cardinals outright disgust, when he identifies the beggar Trouillefou, still seated near the stage, as one of his friends.
Meanwhile, Pierre Gringoire has attempted to call attention to his play. The populace, however, prefers the spectacle of real life Clergy, Trade, Nobility and Labor instead of the allegories presented in the overwrought and lengthy play. When the commotion following the Cardinals entrance subsides, however, Gringoire begins to shout for the players to continue and the scholars, in an obstinate mood, shout that it should be cancelled. The struggle reaches the Cardinals attention and, though he does not care, he orders that the play should proceed. The players begin again but the prologue is torn to pieces as late arrivals to the gallery are loudly announced. After some time has passed Coppenole rises to his feet and proclaims that the play is boring and that he expected some entertainment. He proposes that they do as the Flemish do on the 6th of January and choose a Fools Pope by arranging a viewing hole through which hopefuls can place their head and make the ugliest face possible. Whoever wins will become the Fools Pope for the day. The crowd reacts with unanimous approval effectively stopping the play.