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The Middle Class Gentleman (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme) by Moliere

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NICOLE: Covielle!

COVIELLE: I won't listen.


CLEONTE: Gibberish!

NICOLE: Listen to me.

COVIELLE: Rubbish!

LUCILE: One moment.


NICOLE: A little patience.

COVIELLE: Not interested!

LUCILE: Two words.

CLEONTE: No, you've had them.

NICOLE: One word.

COVIELLE: No more talking.

LUCILE: Alright! Since you don't want to listen to me, think what
you like, and do what you want.

NICOLE: Since you act like that, make whatever you like of it all.

CLEONTE: Let us know the reason, then, for such a fine reception.

LUCILE: It no longer pleases me to say.

COVIELLE: Let us know something of your story.

NICOLE: I ,myself, no longer want to tell you.

CLEONTE: Tell me . . .

LUCILE: No, I don't want to say anything.

COVIELLE: Tell it . . .

NICOLE: No, I'll tell nothing.

CLEONTE: For pity . . .

LUCILE: No, I say.

COVIELLE: Have mercy.

NICOLE: It's no use.

CLEONTE: I beg you.

LUCILE: Leave me . . .

COVIELLE: I plead with you.

NICOLE: Get out of here.

CLEONTE: Lucile!



NICOLE: Never.

CLEONTE: In the name of God! . . .

LUCILE: I don't want to.

COVIELLE: Talk to me.

NICOLE: Definitely not.

CLEONTE: Clear up my doubts.

LUCILE: No, I'll do nothing.

COVIELLE: Relieve my mind!

NICOLE: No, I don't care to.

CLEONTE: Alright! since you are so little concerned to take me out
of my pain and to justify yourself for the shameful treatment you
gave to my passion, you are seeing me, ingrate, for the last time,
and I am going far from you to die of sorrow and love.

COVIELLE: And I -- I will follow in his steps.

LUCILE: Cleonte!

NICOLE: Covielle!



LUCILE: Where are you going?

CLEONTE: Where I told you.

COVIELLE: We are going to die.

LUCILE: You are going to die, Cleonte?

CLEONTE: Yes, cruel one, since you wish it.

LUCILE: Me! I wish you to die?

CLEONTE: Yes, you wish it.

LUCILE: Who told you that?

CLEONTE: Is it not wishing it when you don't wish to clear up my

LUCILE: Is it my fault? And, if you had wished to listen to me,
would I not have told you that the incident you complain of was
caused this morning by the presence of an old aunt who insists that
the mere approach of a man dishonors a woman -- an aunt who
constantly delivers sermons to us on this text, and tells us that
all men are like devils we must flee?

NICOLE: There's the key to the entire affair.

CLEONTE: Are you sure you're not deceiving me, Lucile?

COVIELLE: Aren't you making this up?

LUCILE: There's nothing more true.

NICOLE: It's the absolute truth.

COVIELLE: Are we going to give in to this?

CLEONTE: Ah! Lucile, how with a word from your lips you are able to
appease the things in my heart, and how easily one allows himself
to be persuaded by the people one loves!

COVIELLE: How easily we are manipulated by these blasted minxes!


SCENE XI (Madame Jourdain, Cleonte, Lucile, Covielle, Nicole)

MADAME JOURDAIN: I am very glad to see you, Cleonte and you are
here at just the right time. My husband is coming, seize the
opportunity to ask for Lucile in marriage.

CLEONTE: Ah! Madame, how sweet that word is to me, and how it
flatters my desires! Could I receive an order more charming, a
favor more precious?


SCENE XII (Monsieur Jourdain, Madame Jourdain, Cleonte, Lucile,
Covielle, Nicole)

CLEONTE: Sir, I did not want to use anyone to make a request of you
that I have long considered. It affects me enough for me to take
charge of it myself; and, without further ado, I will say to you
that the honor of being your son-in-law is a glorious favor that I
beg you to grant me.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Before giving you a reply, sir, I beg to ask if
you are a gentleman.

CLEONTE: Sir, most people don't hesitate much over this question.
They use the word carelessly. They take the name without scruple,
and the usage of today seems to validate the theft. As for me, I
confess to you, I have a little more delicate feelings on this
matter. I find all imposture undignified for an honest man, and
that there is cowardice in disguising what Heaven made us at birth;
to present ourselves to the eyes of the world with a stolen title;
to wish to give a false impression. I was born of parents who,
without doubt, held honorable positions. I have six years of
service in the army, and I find myself established well enough to
maintain a tolerable rank in the world; but despite all that I
certainly have no wish to give myself a name to which others in my
place might believe they could pretend, and I will tell you frankly
that I am not a gentleman.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Shake hands, Sir! My daughter is not for you.


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You are not a gentleman. You will not have my

MADAME JOURDAIN: What are you trying to say with your talk of
gentleman? Are we ourselves of the line of St. Louis?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Quiet, wife, I see what you are up to.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Aren't we both descended from good bourgeois

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: There's that hateful word!

MADAME JOURDAIN: And wasn't your father a merchant just like mine?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Plague take the woman! She never fails to do
this! If your father was a merchant, so much the worse for him!
But, as for mine, those who say that are misinformed. All that I
have to say to you is, that I want a gentleman for a son-in-law.

MADAME JOURDAIN: It's necessary for your daughter to have a husband
who is worthy of her, and it's better for her to have an honest
rich man who is well made than an impoverished gentleman who is
badly built.

NICOLE: That's true. We have the son of a gentleman in our village
who is the most ill formed and the greatest fool I have ever seen.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Hold your impertinent tongue! You always butt
into the conversation. I have enough money for my daughter, I need
only honor, and I want to make her a marchioness.

MADAME JOURDAIN: A marchioness?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Yes, marchioness.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Alas! God save me from it!

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: It's a thing I have resolved.

MADAME JOURDAIN: As for me, it's a thing I'll never consent to.
Marriages above one's station are always subject to great
inconveniences. I have absolutely no wish for a son-in-law who can
reproach her parents to my daughter, and I don't want her to have
children who will be ashamed to call me their grandmother. If she
arrives to visit me in the equipage of a great lady and if she
fails, by mischance, to greet someone of the neighborhood, they
wouldn't fail immediately to say a hundred stupidities. "Do you
see," they would say, "this madam marchioness who gives herself
such glorious airs? It's the daughter of Monsieur Jourdain, who was
all too glad, when she was little, to play house with us; she's not
always been so haughty as she now is; and her two grandfathers sold
cloth near St. Innocent's Gate. They amassed wealth for their
children, they're paying dearly perhaps for it now in the other
world, and one can scarcely get that rich by being honest." I
certainly don't want all that gossip, and I want, in a word, a man
who will be obliged to me for my daughter and to whom I can say,
"Sit down there, my son-in-law, and have dinner with me."

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Surely those are the sentiments of a little
spirit, to want to remain always in a base condition. Don't talk
back to me: my daughter will be a marchioness in spite of
everyone. And, if you make me angrier, I'll make a duchess of

MADAME JOURDAIN: Cleonte, don't lose courage yet. Follow me, my
daughter, and tell your father resolutely that, if you can't have
him, you don't want to marry anyone.


SCENE XIII (Cleonte, Covielle)

COVIELLE: You've made a fine business, with your pretty

CLEONTE: What do you want? I have a scruple about that which
precedent cannot conquer.

COVIELLE: Don't you make a fool of yourself by taking it seriously
with a man like that? Don't you see that he is a fool? And would it
cost you anything to accommodate yourself to his fantasies?

CLEONTE: You're right. But I didn't believe it necessary to prove
nobility in order to be Monsieur Jourdain's son-in-law.

COVIELLE: Ha, ha, ha!

CLEONTE: What are you laughing at?

COVIELLE: At a thought that just occurred to me of how to play our
man a trick and help you obtain what you desire.


COVIELLE: The idea is really funny.

CLEONTE: What is it?

COVIELLE: A short time ago there was a certain masquerade which
fits here better than anything, and that I intend to make part of a
prank I want to play on our fool. It all seems a little phony; but,
with him, one can try anything, there is hardly any reason to be
subtle, and he is the man to play his role marvelously and to
swallow easily any fabrication we want to tell him. I have the
actors, I have the costumes ready, just leave it to me.

CLEONTE: But tell me . . .

COVIELLE: I am going to instruct you in everything. Let's go, there
he is, returning.


SCENE XIV (Monsieur Jourdain, Lackey) MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: What the
devil is this? They have nothing other than the great lords to
reproach me with, and as for me, I see nothing so fine as to
associate with the great lords; there is only honor and civility
among them, and I would have given two fingers of a hand to have
been born a count or a marquis. LACKEY: Sir, here's the Count, and
he has a lady with him. MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: What! My Goodness, I
have some orders to give. Tell them I'll be back here soon.

SCENE XV (Dorimene, Dorante, Lackey)

LACKEY: Monsieur says that he'll be here very soon.

DORANTE: That's fine.

DORIMENE: I don't know, Dorante; I feel strange allowing you to
bring me to this house where I know no one.

DORANTE: Then where would you like, Madame, for me to express my
love with an entertainment, since you will allow neither your house
nor mine for fear of scandal?

DORIMENE: But you don't mention that every day I am gradually
preparing myself to receive too great proofs of your passion? As
good a defense as I have put up, you wear down my resistance, and
you have a polite persistence which makes me come gently to
whatever you like. The frequent visits began, declarations
followed, after them came serenades and amusements in their train,
and presents followed them. I withstood all that, but you don't
give up at all and step by step you are overcoming my resolve. As
for me, I can no longer answer for anything, and I believe that in
the end you will bring me to marriage, which I have so far

DORANTE: My faith! Madame, you should already have come to it. You
are a widow, and you answer only to yourself. I am my own master
and I love you more than my life. Why shouldn't you be all my
happiness from today onward?

DORIMENE: Goodness! Dorante, for two people to live happily
together both of them need particular qualities; and two of the
most reasonable persons in the world often have trouble making a
union satisfactory to them both.

DORANTE: You're fooling yourself, Madame, to imagine so many
difficulties, and the experience you had with one marriage doesn't
determine anything for others.

DORIMENE: Finally I always come back to this. The expenses that I
see you go to for me disturb me for two reasons: one is that they
get me more involved than I would like; and the other is that I am
sure -- meaning no offense -- that you cannot do this without
financially inconveniencing yourself, and I certainly don't want

DORANTE: Ah! Madame, they are trifles, and it isn't by that . . .

DORIMENE: I know what I'm talking about; and among other gifts, the
diamond you forced me to take is worth ...

DORANTE: Oh! Madame, mercy, don't put any value on a thing that my
love finds unworthy of you, and allow ... Here's the master of the


SCENE XVI (Monsieur Jourdain, Dorimene, Dorante, Lackey)

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: (After having made two bows, finding himself too
near Dorimene) A little farther, Madame.


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: One step, if you please.

DORIMENE: What is it?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Step back a little for the third.

DORANTE: Madame, Monsieur Jourdain is very knowledgeable.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Madame, it is a very great honor to me to be
fortunate enough to be so happy as to have the joy that you should
have had the goodness to accord me the graciousness of doing me the
honor of honoring me with the favor of your presence; and, if I
also had the merit to merit a merit such as yours, and if Heaven .
. . envious of my luck . . . should have accorded me . . . the
advantage of seeing me worthy . . . of the . . .

DORANTE: Monsieur Jourdain, that is enough. Madame doesn't like
grand compliments, and she knows that you are a man of wit. (Aside
to Dorimene) As you can see, this good bourgeois is ridiculous
enough in all his manners.

DORIMENE: It isn't difficult to see it.

DORANTE: Madame, he is the best of my friends.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You do me too much honor.

DORANTE: A completely gallant man.

DORIMENE: I have great esteem for him.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I have done nothing yet, Madame, to merit this

DORANTE: (Aside to Monsieur Jourdain) Take care, nonetheless, to
say absolutely nothing to her about the diamond that you gave her.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Can't I even ask her how she likes it?

DORANTE: What? Take care that you don't. That would be loutish of
you; and, to act as a gallant man, you must act as though it were
not you who made her this present. (Aloud) Monsieur Jourdain,
Madame, says he is delighted to see you in his home.

DORIMENE: He honors me greatly.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: How obliged I am to you, sir, for speaking thus
to her for me!

DORANTE: I have had frightful trouble getting her to come here.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I don't know how to thank you enough.

DORANTE: He says, Madame, that he finds you the most beautiful
woman in the world.

DORIMENE: He does me a great favor.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Madame, it is you who does the favors, and . .

DORANTE: Let's consider eating.

LACKEY: Everything is ready, sir.

DORANTE: Come then let us sit at the table. And bring on the

(Six cooks, who have prepared the feast, dance together and make
the third interlude; after which, they carry in a table covered
with many dishes.)


SCENE I (Dorimene, Monsieur Jourdain, Dorante, two Male Musicians,
a Female Musician, Lackeys)

DORIMENE: Why, Dorante, that is really a magnificent repast!

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You jest, Madame; I wish it were worthy of being
offered to you. (All sit at the table).

DORANTE: Monsieur Jourdain is right, Madame, to speak so, and he
obliges me by making you so welcome. I agree with him that the
repast is not worthy of you. Since it was I who ordered it, and
since I do not have the accomplishments of our friends in this
matter, you do not have here a very sophisticated meal, and you
will find some incongruities in the combinations and some
barbarities of taste. If Damis, our friend, had been involved,
everything would have been according to the rules; everything would
have been elegant and appropriate, and he would not have failed to
impress upon you the significance of all the dishes of the repast,
and to make you see his expertise when it comes to good food; he
would have told you about hearth-baked bread, with its golden brown
crust, crunching tenderly between the teeth; of a smooth,
full-bodied wine, fortified with a piquancy not too strong, of a
loin of mutton improved with parsley, of a cut of specially-raised
veal as long as this, white and delicate, and which is like an
almond paste between the teeth, of partridges complimented by a
surprisingly flavorful sauce, and, for his masterpiece, a soup
accompanied by a fat young turkey surrounded by pigeons and crowned
with white onions mixed with chicory. But, as for me, I declare my
ignorance; and, as Monsieur Jourdain has said so well, I only wish
that the repast were more worthy of being offered to you.

DORIMENE: I reply to this compliment only by eating.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Ah! What beautiful hands!

DORIMENE: The hands are mediocre, Monsieur Jourdain; but you wish
to speak of the diamond, which is very beautiful.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Me, Madame? God forbid that I should wish to
speak of it; that would not be acting gallantly, and the diamond is
a very small thing.

DORIMENE: You are very particular.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You are too kind. . .

DORANTE: Let's have some wine for Monsieur Jourdain and for these
gentlemen and ladies who are going to favor us with a drinking

DORIMENE: It is marvelous to season good food, by mixing it with
music, and I see I am being admirably entertained.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Madame, it isn't . .

DORANTE: Monsieur Jourdain, let us remain silent for these
gentlemen and ladies; what they have for us to hear is of more
value than anything we could say. (The male singers and the woman
singer take the glasses, sing two drinking songs, and are
accompanied by all the instrumental ensemble.)

FIRST DRINKING SONG Drink a little, Phyllis, to start the glass
round. Ah! A glass in your hands is charmingly agreeable! You and
the wine arm each other, And I redouble my love for you both Let us
three -- wine, you, and me -- Swear, my beauty, to an eternal
passion. Your lips are made yet more attractive by wetting with
wine! Ah! The one and the other inspire me with desire And both
you and it intoxicate me Let us three -- wine, you, and me --
Swear, my beauty, to an eternal passion.

SECOND DRINKING SONG Let us drink, dear friends, let us drink; Time
that flies beckons us to it! Let us profit from life as much as we
can. Once we pass under the black shadow, Goodbye to wine, our
loves; Let us drink while we can, One cannot drink forever. Let
fools speculate On the true happiness of life. Our philosophy Puts
it among the wine-pots. Possessions, knowledge and glory Hardly
make us forget troubling cares, And it is only with good drink That
one can be happy. Come on then, wine for all, pour, boys, pour,
Pour, keep on pouring, until they say, "Enough."

DORIMENE: I don't believe it's possible to sing better, and that is
positively beautiful.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I see something here, Madame, yet more

DORIMENE: Aha! Monsieur Jourdain is more gallant than I thought.

DORANTE: What! Madame, what did you take Monsieur Jourdain for?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I would like for her to take me at my word.


DORANTE: You don't know him.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: She may know me whenever it pleases her.

DORIMENE: Oh! I am overwhelmed.

DORANTE: He is a man who is always ready with a repartee. But don't
you see that Monsieur Jourdain, Madame, eats all the pieces of food
you have touched?

DORIMENE: I am captivated by Monsieur Jourdain . . .

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: If I could captivate your heart, I would be . .


SCENE II (Madame Jourdain, Monsieur Jourdain, Dorimene, Dorante,
Musicians, Lackeys)

MADAME JOURDAIN: Aha! I find good company here, and I see that I
was not expected. Was it for this pretty affair, Monsieur Husband,
that you were so eager to send me to dinner at my sister's? I just
saw stage decorations downstairs, and here I see a banquet fit for
a wedding. That is how you spend your money, and this is how you
entertain the ladies in my absence, and you give them music and
entertainment while sending me on my way.

DORANTE: What are you saying, Madame Jourdain? And what fantasies
are you getting into your head that your husband spends his money,
and that it is he who is giving this entertainment to Madame?
Please know that it is I; that he only lends me his house, and that
you ought to think more about the things you say.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Yes, what impertinence. It is the Count who
presents all this to Madame, who is a person of quality. He does me
the honor of using my house and of wishing me to be with him.

MADAME JOURDAIN: All that's nonsense. I know what I know.

DORANTE: Come Madame Jourdain, put on better glasses.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I don't need glasses, sir, I see well enough; I
have had suspicions for a long time, and I'm not a fool. This is
very low of you, of a great lord, to lend a hand as you do to the
follies of my husband. And you, Madame, for a great lady, it is
neither fine nor honest of you to cause dissension in a household
and to allow my husband to be in love with you.

DORIMENE: What is she trying to say with all this? Goodness
Dorante! You have outdone yourself by exposing me to the absurd
fantasies of this ridiculous woman.

DORANTE: Madame, wait! Madame, where are you going?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Madame! Monsieur Count, make excuses to her and
try to bring her back. Ah! You impertinent creature, this is a fine
way to act! You come and insult me in front of everybody, and you
drive from me people of quality.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I laugh at their quality.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I don't know who holds me back, evil creature,
from breaking your head with the remains of the repast you came to
disrupt. (The table is removed).

MADAME JOURDAIN: (Leaving) I'm not concerned. These are my rights
that I defend, and I'll have all wives on my side.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You do well to avoid my rage. She arrived very
inopportunely. I was in the mood to say pretty things, and I had
never felt so witty. What's that?


SCENE III (Covielle, disguised; Monsieur Jourdain, Lackey)

COVIELLE: Sir, I don't know if I have the honor to be known to


COVIELLE: I saw you when you were no taller than that.


COVIELLE: Yes. You were the most beautiful child in the world, and
all the ladies took you in their arms to kiss you.


COVIELLE: Yes, I was a great friend of your late father.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Of my late father?

COVIELLE: Yes. He was a very honorable gentleman.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: What did you say?

COVIELLE: I said that he was a very honorable gentleman.



MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You knew him very well?

COVIELLE: Assuredly.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: And you knew him as a gentleman?

COVIELLE: Without doubt.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Then I don't know what is going on!


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: There are some fools who want to tell me that he
was a tradesman.

COVIELLE: Him, a tradesman! It's pure slander, he never was one.
All that he did was to be very obliging, very ready to help; and,
since he was a connoisseur in cloth, he went all over to choose
them, had them brought to his house, and gave them to his friends
for money.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I'm delighted to know you, so you can testify to
the fact that my father was a gentleman.

COVIELLE: I'll attest to it before all the world.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: You'll oblige me. What business brings you

COVIELLE: Since knowing your late father, honorable gentleman, as I
told you, I have traveled through all the world.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Through all the world!


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I imagine it's a long way from here to there.

COVIELLE: Assuredly. I returned from all my long voyages only four
days ago; and because of the interest I take in all that concerns
you, I come to announce to you the best news in the world.


COVIELLE: You know that the son of the Grand Turk is here?


COVIELLE: What! He has a very magnificent retinue; everybody goes
to see it, and he has been received in this country as an important

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: By my faith! I didn't know that.

COVIELLE: The advantage to you in this is that he is in love with
your daughter.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: The son of the Grand Turk?

COVIELLE: Yes. And he wants to be your son-in-law.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: My son-in-law, the son of the Grand Turk?

COVIELLE: The son of the Grand Turk your son-in-law. As I went to
see him, and as I perfectly understand his language, he conversed
with me; and, after some other discourse, he said to me, "Acciam
croc soler ouch alla moustaph gidelum amanahem varahini oussere
carbulath," that is to say, "Haven't you seen a beautiful young
person who is the daughter of Monsieur Jourdain, gentleman of

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: The son of the Grand Turk said that of me?

COVIELLE: Yes. Inasmuch as I told him in reply that I knew you
particularly well and that I had seen your daughter: "Ah!" he said
to me, "marababa sahem;" Which is to say, "Ah, how I am enamored of

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: "Marababa sahem" means "Ah, how I am enamored of


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: By my faith, you do well to tell me, since, as
for me, I would never have believed that "marababa sahem" could
have meant to say "Oh, how I am enamored of her!" What an admirable
language Turkish is!

COVIELLE: More admirable than one can believe. Do you know what
Cacaracamouchen means?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Cacaracamouchen? No.

COVIELLE: It means: It means, "My dear soul."

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Cacaracamouchen means "My dear soul?"


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: That's marvelous! Cacaracamouchen, my dear
soul. Who would have thought? I'm dumbfounded.

COVIELLE: Finally, to complete my assignment, he comes to ask for
your daughter in marriage; and in order to have a father-in-law who
should be worthy of him, he wants to make you a Mamamouchi, which
is a certain high rank in his country.


COVIELLE: Yes, Mamamouchi; that is to say, in our language, a
Paladin. Paladin is one of those ancient . . . Well, Paladin!
There is none nobler than that in the world, and you will be equal
to the greatest lords of the earth.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: The son of the Grand Turk honors me greatly.
Please take me to him in order to express my thanks.

COVIELLE: What! He is going to come here.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: He's coming here?

COVIELLE: Yes. And he is bringing everything for the ceremony of
bestowing your rank.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: That seems very quick.

COVIELLE: His love can suffer no delay.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: All that embarrasses me here is that my daughter
is a stubborn one who has gotten into her head a certain Cleonte,
and she swears she'll marry no one but him.

COVIELLE: She'll change her mind when she sees the son of the Grand
Turk; and then there is a remarkable coincidence here, it is that
the son of the Grand Turk resembles this Cleonte very closely. I
just saw him, someone showed him to me; and the love she has for
the one can easily pass to the other, and . . . I hear him coming.
There he is.


SCENE IV (Cleonte, as a Turk, with three Pages carrying his outer
clothes, Monsieur Jourdain, Covielle, disguised.)

CLEONTE: Ambousahim oqui boraf, Iordina, salamalequi.

COVIELLE: That is to say: "Monsieur Jourdain, may your heart be all
the year like a flowering rosebush." This is the way of speaking
politely in those countries.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I am the most humble servant of His Turkish

COVIELLE: Carigar camboto oustin moraf .

CLEONTE: Oustin yoc catamalequi basum base alla moran.

COVIELLE: He says: "Heaven gives you the strength of lions and the
wisdom of serpents."

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: His Turkish Highness honors me too much, and I
wish him all sorts of good fortune.

COVIELLE: Ossa binamen sadoc babally oracaf ouram.

CLEONTE: Bel-men.

COVIELLE: He says that you should go with him quickly to prepare
yourself for the ceremony; then you can see your daughter and
conclude the marriage.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: So many things in two words?

COVIELLE: Yes; the Turkish language is like that, it says much in
few words. Go quickly where he wants.


SCENE V (Dorante, Covielle)

COVIELLE: Ha, ha, ha! My faith, that was hilarious. What a dupe! If
he had learned his role by heart, he could not have played it
better. Ah! Ah! Excuse me, Sir, Wouldn't you like to help us here
in an affair that is taking place.

DORANTE: Ah! Ah! Covielle, who would have recognized you? How you
are made up!

COVIELLE: You see, ha, ha!

DORANTE: What are you laughing at?

COVIELLE: At a thing, Sir, that well deserves it.


COVIELLE: I'll give you many chances, Sir, to guess the stratagem
we are using on Monsieur Jourdain to get him to give his daughter
to my master.

DORANTE: I can't begin to guess the stratagem, but I guess it will
not fail in its effect, since you are undertaking it.

COVIELLE: I see, Sir, that you know me too well.

DORANTE: Tell me what it is.

COVIELLE: Come over here a little to make room for what I see
coming. You can see part of the story, while I tell you the rest.

(The Turkish ceremony for ennobling Monsieur Jourdain is performed
in dance and music, and comprises the Fourth Interlude.) [The
ceremony is a burlesque full of comic gibberish in pseudo-Turkish
and nonsensical French, in which Monsieur Jourdain is made to
appear ludicrous and during which he is outfitted with an
extravagant costume, turban, and sword.]


SCENE I (Madame Jourdaine, Monsieur Jourdain)

MADAME JOURDAIN: Ah, My God! Mercy! What is all of this? What a
spectacle! Are you dressed for a masquerade, and is this a time to
go masked? Speak then, what is this? Who has bundled you up like

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: See the impertinent woman, to speak in this way
to a Mamamouchi!


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Yes, you must show me respect now, as I've just
been made a Mamamouchi.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What are you trying to say with your Mamamouchi?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Mamamouchi, I tell you. I'm a Mamamouchi.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What animal is that?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Mamamouchi, that is to say, in our language,

MADAME JOURDAIN: Baladin! Are you of an age to dance in ballets?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: What an ignorant woman! I said Paladin. It's a
dignity which has just been bestowed upon me in a ceremony.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What ceremony then?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Mahometa-per-Jordina.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What does that mean?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Jordina, that is to say, Jourdain.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Very well, what of Jourdain?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Voler far un Paladina de Jordina.


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Dar turbanta con galera.

deffender Palestina.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What are you trying to say?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Dara, dara, bastonnara.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What jargon is this?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Non tener honta, questa star l'ultima affronta.

MADAME JOURDAIN: What in the world is all that?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: (Dancing and singing). Hou la ba, Ba la chou, ba
la ba, ba la da.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Alas! Oh Lord, my husband has gone mad.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: (Leaving) Peace, insolent woman! Show respect to
the Monsieur Mamamouchi.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Has he lost his mind? I must hurry to stop him
from going out. Ah! Ah! This is the last straw! I see nothing but
shame on all sides. (She leaves.)


SCENE II (Dorante, Dorimene)

DORANTE: Yes, Madame, you are going to see the most amusing thing
imaginable. I don't believe it would be possible to find in all the
world another man as crazy as that one is. And then too, Madame, we
must try to help Cleonte's plan by supporting his masquerade. He's
a very gallant man and deserves our help.

DORIMENE: I think highly of him and he deserves happiness.

DORANTE: Besides that, we have here, Madame, another ballet
performance that we shouldn't miss, and I want to see if my idea
will succeed.

DORIMENE: I saw magnificent preparations, and I can no longer
permit this Dorante. Yes, I finally want to end your extravagances
and to stop all these expenses that I see you go to for me, I have
decided to marry you right away. This is the truth of it, that all
these sorts of things end with marriage, as you know.

DORANTE: Ah! Madame, is it possible that you should have taken such
a sweet decision in my favor?

DORIMENE: It is only to impede you from ruining yourself; without
that, I see very well that before long you would not have a penny.

DORANTE: How obliged I am to you, Madame, for the care you have to
conserve my money! It is entirely yours, as well as my heart, and
you may use them in whatever fashion you please.

DORIMENE: I'll make use of them both. But here is your man: his
costume is wonderful.


SCENE III (Monsieur Jourdain, Dorante, Dorimene)

DORANTE: Sir, we come to pay homage, Madame and I, to your new
dignity, and to rejoice with you at the marriage between your
daughter and the son of the Grand Turk.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: (After bowing in the Turkish way) Sir, I wish
you the strength of serpents and the wisdom of lions.

DORIMENE,: I was very glad, Sir, to be among the first to come to
congratulate you upon rising to such a high degree of honor.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Madame, I wish your rosebush to flower all year
long; I am infinitely obliged to you for taking part in the honors
bestowed upon me; and I am very happy to see you returned here, so
I can make very humble excuses for the ridiculous behavior of my

DORIMENE: That's nothing. I excuse her jumping to conclusions:
your heart must be precious to her, and it isn't strange that the
possession of such a man as you should inspire some jealousy.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: The possession of my heart is a thing that has
been entirely gained by you.

DORANTE: You see, Madame, that Monsieur Jourdain is not one of
those men that good fortune blinds, and that he still knows, even
in his glory, how to recognize his friends.

DORIMENE: It is the mark of a completely generous soul.

DORANTE: Where then is His Turkish Highness? We want, as your
friends, to pay him our respects.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: There he comes, and I have sent for my daughter
in order to give him her hand.


SCENE IV (Cleonte, Covielle, Monsieur Jourdain, etc.)

DORANTE: Sir, we come to bow to Your Highness as friends of the
gentleman who is your father-in-law, and to assure you with respect
of our very humble services.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Where's the interpreter to tell him who you are
and to make him understand what you say? You will see that he will
reply, and that he speaks Turkish marvelously. Hey there! Where the
devil has he gone? (To Cleonte). Strouf, strif, strof, straf. The
gentleman is a grande Segnore, grande Segnore, grande Segnore. And
Madame is a Dama granda Dama, granda. Ahi! He, Monsieur, he French
Mamamauchi, and Madame also French Mamamouchie. I can't say it more
clearly. Good, here's the interpreter. Where are you going? We
won't know how to say anything without you. Tell him, that Monsieur
and Madame are persons of high rank, who have come to pay their
respects to him, as my friends, and to assure him of their
services. You'll see how he will reply.

COVIELLE: Alabala crociam acci boram alabamen.

CLEONTE: Catalequi tubal ourin soter amalouchan.


COVIELLE: He says that the rain of prosperity should water the
garden of your family in all seasons.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I told you that he speaks Turkish!

DORANTE: That's wonderful.


SCENE V (Lucile, Monsieur Jourdain, Dorante, Dorimene, etc.)

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Come, my daughter; come here and give your hand
to the gentleman who does you the honor of asking for you in

LUCILE: What! Father, look at you! Are you playing in a comedy?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: No, no, this is not a comedy, it's a very
serious matter, and as full of honor for you as possible. There is
the husband I give you.

LUCILE: To me, father?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Yes, to you. Come, put your hand in his, and
give thanks to Heaven for your happiness.

LUCILE: I have absolutely no wish to marry.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I wish it, I, who am your father.

LUCILLE: I'll do nothing of the sort.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Ah! What a nuisance! Come, I tell you. Give your

LUCILE: No, my father, I told you, there is no power on earth that
can make me take any husband other than Cleonte. And I will go to
extreme measures rather than . . . (Recognizes Cleonte) It is true
that you are my father; I owe you complete obedience; and it is for
you to dispose of me according to your wishes.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Ah! I am delighted to see you return so promptly
to your duty, and it pleases me to have an obedient daughter.


SCENE VI (Madame Jourdain, Monsieur Jourdain, Cleonte, etc.)

MADAME JOURDAIN: What now? What's this? They say that you want to
give your daughter in marriage to a someone in a Carnival costume?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Will you be quiet, impertinent woman? You always
throw your absurdities into everything, and there's no teaching you
to be reasonable.

MADAME JOURDAIN: It's you that there is no way of making wise, and
you go from folly to folly. What is your plan, and what do you want
to do with this assemblage of people?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I want to marry our daughter to the son of the
Grand Turk.

MADAME JOURDAIN: To the son of the Grand Turk?

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Yes. Greet him through the interpreter there.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I don't need an interpreter; and I'll tell him
straight out myself, to his face, that there is no way he will have
my daughter.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I ask again, will you be quiet?

DORANTE: What! Madame Jourdain, do you oppose such good fortune as
that? You refuse His Turkish Highness as your son-in-law?

MADAME JOURDAIN: My Goodness, Sir, mind your own business.

DORIMENE: It's a great glory, which is not to be rejected.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Madame, I beg you also not to concern yourself
with what does not affect you.

DORANTE: It's the friendship we have for you that makes us involve
ourselves in your interest.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I can get along quite well without your

DORANTE: Your daughter here agrees to the wishes of her father.

MADAME JOURDAIN: My daughter consents to marry a Turk?

DORANTE: Without doubt.

MADAME JOURDAIN: She can forget Cleonte?

DORANTE: What wouldn't one do to be a great lady?

MADAME JOURDAIN: I would strangle her with my own hands if she did
something like that.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: That is just so much talk. I tell you, this
marriage shall take place.

MADAME JOURDAIN: And I say there is no way that it will happen.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Oh, what a row!

LUCILE: Mother!

MADAME JOURDAIN: Go away, you are a hussy.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: What! You quarrel with her for obeying me?

MADAME JOURDAIN: Yes. She is mine as much as yours.


MADAME JOURDAIN: What do you want to tell me?


MADAME JOURDAIN: I want nothing to do with your word.

COVIELLE: (To Monsieur Jourdain) Sir, if she will hear a word in
private, I promise you to make her consent to what you want.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I will never consent to it.

COVIELLE: Only listen to me.



MADAME JOURDAIN: No, I don't want to listen to him.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: He is going tell you . . .

MADAME JOURDAIN: I don't want him to tell me anything whatsoever.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: There is the great stubbornness of a woman! How
can it hurt you to listen to him?

COVIELLE: Just listen to me; after that you can do as you please.


COVIELLE: (Aside to Madame Jourdain) For an hour, Madame, we've
been signaling to you. Don't you see that all this is done only to
accommodate ourselves to the fantasies of your husband, that we are
fooling him under this disguise and that it is Cleonte himself who
is the son of the Grand Turk? MADAME JOURDAIN: Ah! Ah! COVIELLE:
And I, Covielle, am the interpreter? MADAME JOURDAIN: Ah! If this
is the case then, I surrender.

COVIELLE: Don't let on.

MADAME JOURDAIN: Yes, it's done, I agree to the marriage.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Ah! Now everyone's reasonable. You didn't want
to hear it. I knew he would explain to you what it means to be the
son of the Grand Turk.

MADAME JOURDAIN: He explained it to me very well, and I am
satisfied. Let us send for a notary.

DORANTE: This is very well said. And finally, Madame Jourdain, in
order to relieve your mind completely, and that you may lose today
all the jealousy that you may have conceived of your husband, we
shall have the same notary marry us, Madame and me.

MADAME JOURDAIN: I agree to that also.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Is this to make her believe our story?

DORANTE: (Aside to Monsieur Jourdain) It is necessary to amuse her
with this pretence.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: Good, good! Someone go for the notary.

DORANTE: While we wait for him to come and while he draws up the
contracts, let us see our ballet, and divert His Turkish Highness
with it.

MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: That is very well advised. Come, let's take our


MONSIEUR JOURDAIN: I give her to the interpreter; and my wife to
whoever wants her.

COVIELLE: Sir, I thank you. (Aside) If one can find a greater fool,
I'll go to Rome to tell it.

(The comedy ends with a ballet.)

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