Tartuffe, or The Hypocrite
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Title: Tartuffe or The Hypocrite
Author: Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere
Release Date: October 1, 2009 [eBook #28488]
[This file last updated October 27, 2010]
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
Copyright (C) 2009 by Jeffrey D. Hoeper
(Character Sketch added by Production Team
MADAME PERNELLE, Orgon's mother--(the mother-in-law)
ORGON, Elmire's husband--(the dupe)
ELMIRE, Orgon's wife
DAMIS, Orgon's son, Elmire's stepson--(the hot-headed youth)
MARIANE, Orgon's daughter, Elmire's stepdaughter, and Valere's lover--(the ingenue)
CLEANTE, Orgon's brother-in-law--(the raisonneur)
TARTUFFE, the hypocrite
DORINE, Mariane's maid--(the impertinent maid)
M. LOYAL, a bailiff
FLIPOTE, Madame Pernelle's servant
LAURENT, Tartuffe's servant
The Scene is at Paris
Madame Pernelle and her servant Flipote, Elmire, Mariane, Dorine, Damis,
Mme. Pernelle. Let's go, Flipote, let's go. I hate this
Elmire. I can't keep up, you rush at such a pace.
Pernelle. Peace, my dear, peace; come no farther.
I don't wish to cause
you any bother.
Elmire. What duty demands, I insist on giving.
mother, what has caused your hasty leaving?
Mme. Pernelle. I just can't
stand the way your household runs . . .
And no one cares what I wish to have
Oh, yes, I leave your household quite dissatisfied
For all my wise
advice has been defied . . .
And nobody respects me, and everybody
And truly this is a home for the king of louts!
Dorine. If .
Mme. Pernelle. You, my dearie, are a bold lassy,
brazen and very sassy,
You butt into everything to speak your
Damis. But . . .
Mme. Pernelle. You,
grandson, are a fool of the worst kind.
It is I, your grandmother, that
pronounce this edict
And to my son, your father, I have oft predicted
you'll turn out to be a worthless wastrel,
And give him in life a foretaste
Mariane. I think . . .
Pernelle. My lord, his sister! You seem so
And so untainted, so very sweet,
But the stillest waters are
filled with scum,
And your sly ways earn my revulsion.
Elmire. But .
Mme. Pernelle. Daughter, my views may make you
But your conduct in all things is all bad.
In your family's eyes you
should be an example-setter;
In that respect their late mother did far
You are extravagant, and it wounds me, I guess,
To see you sashay
about dressed like a princess.
A woman who wishes only to please her
Dear daughter, need not primp and undulate.
after all . . .
And her brother, as for you,
I respect you, love you, and revere you,
But finally, if I were my son, her spouse,
I would at once beg you to
leave this house.
Without cease you teach your rules and mottos
decent people should never follow.
I now speak frankly, but it is my
I never spare the words that stir my heart.
Damis. Your man
Tartuffe is satisfied, no fear . . .
Mme. Pernelle. He is a holy man
whom all should hear,
And I cannot bear, without great rue,
To hear him
mocked by a fool like you.
Damis. What? Am I myself to bear a carping
A base usurper with a power tyrannic,
Such that we can do nothing
Without hearing about that creep's aversion?
If we were to hear and obey his whims,
We couldn't do anything without
For he forbids all, this false Capuchin.
Mme. Pernelle. And
everything he forbids is well forbidden.
He strives to guide you on the road
And it's my son's duty to make you love him.
grandma, neither dad nor anyone else
Can oblige me to wish for his good
I'd be false to myself if I didn't say this:
When I see him
around, I begin to get pissed.
I can smell the outcome, and soon this
And I will find ourselves in a grand dispute.
certainly a clear cause for remark
When a nobody acts like a patriarch,
beggar who was barefoot when he came hence
And whose whole wardrobe wasn't
worth two cents!
And he's gone so far as to forget his past for
everything and plays the master.
Mme. Pernelle. Ah! mercy on me! Things
would be better,
If you'd only follow his holy orders.
passes for a saint in your fantasy,
But, I swear, he acts with
Mme. Pernelle. Watch your
Not to him nor his man Laurent
Would I trust my honor without good
Mme. Pernelle. I don't know what his servant's like at
But for the man himself, I'll guarantee his part.
You only treat
him with hate and aversion
Because he truly strives for your
He hurls his heart up against each sin
And the glory of God is
all he hopes to win.
Dorine. Yes. But why, especially during
Time past, must he ban all guests from our home?
Can a courtesy call
Enough to merit a huge commotion?
Would you like it
explained, just between us? [Gesturing toward Elmire.]
Of Madam there, on my
oath, he's jealous!
Mme. Pernelle. Be quiet, and think before you
Others, too, condemn the company you keep.
All this bustle from the
people who arrive,
The carriages ceaselessly parking at curb-side,
servants in a circle chattering,
Makes noise that your neighbors find
I'd like to think there's no harm meant,
gossips talk, they're malevolent.
Cleante. How can you hope to stop
It would truly be most irritating
If, for the sake of
idle, foolish chatter,
We must renounce the friends that really
And even if we could resolve to do it,
How could you hope to keep
the whole world quiet?
No castle wall can defend against lies,
ignore the fools who criticize,
And strive to live in innocence and
Letting gossips gossip as they please.
Dorine. Daphne, our
neighbor, and her petty spouse--
Weren't they the ones who slandered this
Those whom the whole world finds ridiculous
Are always first in
line to stick it to us.
They never fail to sniff out and swiftly share
earliest rumor of a love affair,
Sowing seeds of scandal with eager
And twisting truth past all recognition.
In their own colors,
they paint all others,
Brazenly calling all men their brothers;
faint hope of finding some resemblance,
They try to give a gloss of
To their schemes or to make others share
The burden of blame
that is only theirs.
Mme. Pernelle. All this hair-splitting is off the
Orante lives a life that is perfect
With all her thoughts on
heaven, and I hear
That she deeply mourns the way you live
Dorine. The lady herself is quite an example!
You want a
chaste life? She's a nice sample.
But old age has stuck her in this
And everyone knows she's a reluctant prude.
'Cause as long
as she could snare a man's heart,
She was more than willing to play her
But now that her eyes have lost their luster,
She leaves the world
that already left her
And uses a pompous veil of phony wisdom
To hide the
fact that her looks are gone.
It's the last resort of the aging flirt,
peeved at having no man at her skirt
That, alone and abandoned to
Her only recourse is to become a prude.
And these good women
censure all with such
Great severity; nor do they pardon much.
biliously blame immorality
Not from charity, but only from envy
others are drinking in that pleasure
From which old age now drains their
Mme. Pernelle [to Elmire]. Such idle tales form a silly
In your home, my dear, I've been silenced too long
Because, like a
crap-shooter with the die,
Madame won't give up her turn; but now
Chance has come. I applaud my son's great wisdom
In opening his
home to this holy person
Who's been heaven-sent to meet your needs
turning from evil to God's holy deeds.
For your soul's salvation, please pay
What he reprehends, merits reprehension.
These visits, these
balls, these conversations
Are flawless signs of Satanic possession.
them you never hear the holy Credo--
Just songs, chatter, gossip, malice, and
Often the neighbors get stabbed to the heart
By vicious lies
from the third or fourth part.
So good people suffer real anxiety
sad confusion spread at your party.
A slew of slanders are spread along the
And, as a doctor told me the other day,
This is truly the Tower of
Because everyone babbles on and on;
And, to tell a story that now
comes to mind . . .
Now look at him and how he laughs! [Indicating
Cleante.] Go find
Some snickering fools. They are just your
[To Elmire.] Adieu, my daughter. I'll say no more.
don't intend to darken your door
For a long, long time. You've fallen
[Slapping Flipote.] Hurry up, there! Don't stand
staring into space!
Lord Almighty! I'll slap your silly face.
you slut, go on.
I'm not following;
I'm sure there'd only be more quarrelling.
How that old
harridan . .
Oh, how I regret
That she can't hear you use that epithet.
She'd tell you
at length what she thinks of your wit,
And that she's not old enough to merit
Cleante. What a fuss she made about nearly nothing!
And what a
passion for Tartuffe, her darling!
Dorine. Oh! Really, she's
normal compared to her son,
And if you could see him, you'd say, "Here's
Who's nuts!" During the war, he seemed quite sage,
serving his prince, showed some courage,
But now he's become an absolute
Since he gave himself up to Tartuffe's rule.
He calls him his brother
and the love of his life--
More dear than mother, daughter, son, or
He's the sole confidant of all his secrets
And the sole director of
all his projects.
He caresses him, kisses him, and could not show a
More love and affection than he gives to this
dinner he gives him the highest place
And watches with joy as he stuffs his
With cakes and tarts and often the best part
Of a pig, and if he
should happen to hiccup or fart,
Says, "God be with you!" He's mad
His honey, his hero. He always quotes him
his deeds. His smallest acts are miracles
And even his stupidest words
Tartuffe, who uses his dupe to make a buck,
Knows a hundred
wily ways to pluck this duck;
He rakes off great sums with his biblical
And demands the right to censor us all.
His foolish footman has such
That even he dares to give us instruction.
Madly preaching, he
scatters with eyes afire
Our ribbons, our rouge, and our best attire.
night he ripped up with his own bare hands
A kerchief left lying in The Holy
Claiming our crime was truly gigantic
In mixing what's holy with
Elmire, Mariane, Damis, Cleante, Dorine
Elmire [to Cleante]. You should be glad you missed the dreadful
Of attending her lecture beside the door--
Here comes my
spouse! Since he doesn't see me,
I'm going upstairs to rest
Cleante. Then I'll remain with no pleasure on my part
tell him hello and then quickly depart.
Damis. Ask him about the
marriage of Mariane.
I think Tartuffe will oppose it if he can,
sets up so many prerequisites,
And you know what an interest I take in
The heat that inflames my sister and Valere
Has made his sweet sister
so very dear
To me that if . .
Shh, he's here.
Orgon, Cleante, Dorine
Cleante. I'm glad you've returned before my
The countryside isn't quite blossoming yet.
. . . One second brother, please! Just let
Me set my heart at ease and
soothe my fear
Concerning the things that have happened here. [To
For these past two days, how have things gone on?
happened? And how is everyone?
Dorine. The first day your wife
had a bad fever
And a headache that just wouldn't leave her.
Tartuffe? He's in splendid shape,
Fat and flabby, with red lips, and a
That night, your wife felt so sick
And so feverish that she could only
At her dinner and scarcely ate a bite.
He alone ate with all his might,
And devoutly devoured a pair of
And a leg of lamb in our lady's presence.
The whole night passed before she
Could even close her eyes to fall
Shivers and chills beset her in bed,
And right up till dawn we
watched her with dread.
Drowsy from all that he'd consumed,
He left the table, went straight to his
And fell quickly into his nice, warm sack
Where he slept all night
flat on his back.
At last your wife began heeding
Our good advice that she needed
And she began to recover soon thereafter.
He couldn't have been any better.
To fortify himself against every ill
to regain the blood that Madam spilled,
He drank at brunch four great glasses
Both of them are now quite fine;
I'll now be going up to tell your wife
your deep concern at this threat to her life.
Cleante. She's making fun of you to your face, brother;
I don't intend to be a bother,
I must frankly admit that there's some
In what she says. What a crazy caprice
You have for
him! And how could he exert
Such charm that you'll even let your wife
After taking this pauper into your heart,
You go so far . .
Stop there! Or we must part!
You don't know the man to whom you
Cleante. Okay. Say I don't know him if you prefer,
to know what sort of man he might be . . .
Orgon. Brother, you'd be
charmed if you could only see
Him, and your glee would be . . .
He's a man who . . . who . . . a man . . . well, a man!
from him a peacefulness most exquisite,
That lets you drop your woes like . .
. dried horseshit!
Yes, I've been reborn because of his preaching:
teaches me that I shouldn't love anything,
From every earthly passion he has
freed my life;
I'd watch my brother, mother, children, and wife
without caring so much as that! [He snaps his fingers.]
sure got humane sentiments down pat!
Orgon. Ah! If you'd seen him as I
did at first,
Your eyes would have feasted on him with a spiritual
Each day he came to church smiling with sweet peace
himself down before me on both knees.
He drew upon himself the eyes of
By the holy fervor of his pious prayer.
He sighed and wept
with a most saintly passion
And humbly kissed the earth in a fetching
And when I was going, he rushed out front
To bless me with water
from the holy font.
His servant (matching his master to a T)
me of his identity--
And his poverty. So I made a donation,
he tried to return a portion.
"It's too much," he said. "You're too
I don't merit your pity and kindness."
And when I refused to
take it back, he gave
It in alms to the poor right there in the nave.
God bade me take him into my home
And now life is sweet as a honeycomb.
governs us all, and to protect my honor
Bids my wife grant his godly rule
He forewarns me of men who might give her the eye,
And he really
seems far more jealous than I!
Why, you wouldn't believe his fear of
He thinks himself damned for the least bagatelle.
suffice to scandalize him
That he even accused himself of sin
slain with a bit too much wrath
A flea that just happened to cross his
Cleante. My goodness, brother! I think you're crazy!
you mocking me with sheer lunacy?
And how can you pretend that this pure rot
. . . ?
Orgon. Dear brother, your words reek of that free
With which I find you more than a bit impeached,
And, as ten times
or more I have clearly preached,
You will soon find yourself in a wicked
Cleante. Now this is the normal jargon of your kind.
everyone to be as blind as they are.
To be clear-sighted, is to be in
And one who rejects their vain hypocrisy
Has no respect for faith
Go on, all your tart sermons scarcely smart;
I know what I'm
saying, and God sees my heart.
I'm not a slave to your silly
There is false piety like false bravery;
Just as one often sees,
when honor calls us,
That the bravest men never make the most fuss,
too, the good Christians, whom one should follow,
Are not those who find life
so hard to swallow.
What now? Will you not make any distinction
hypocrisy and true devotion?
Would you wish to use the same commonplace
describe both a mere mask and a true face?
To equate artifice with
Is to confound appearance and reality.
To admire a shadow as
much as you do
Is to prefer counterfeit money to true.
The majority of men
are strangely made!
And their true natures are rarely displayed.
the bounds of reason are too small;
In their shabby souls they love to lounge
And very often they spoil a noble deed
By their urge for
excess and reckless speed.
But all this, brother, is idle
Orgon. Without doubt you are a renowned teacher;
the world's knowledge in your coffer.
You're the only oracle, the wisest
The enlightened one, the Cato of our age;
And next to you, all other
men are dumb.
Cleante. Brother, I know I'm not the wisest one
the most learned man in Christendom
But in moral matters my greatest
Is to differentiate false from true.
And since I know of no heroes
More to be praised than the truly devout
And nothing at all with
Than the holy fervor of saintly zeal,
So too nothing could
be more odious
Than the white-washed face of a zeal that's specious,
these frank charlatans, seeking places,
Whose false and sacrilegious double
Exploit our love of God and make a game
Of our reverence for
Christ's holy name.
These people who, with a shop-keeper's soul,
cheap trinkets to trade on the Credo,
And hope to purchase credit and
Bought with sly winks and affected fervor;
These people, I say,
whose uncommon hurry
On the path to Heaven leads through their
Who, writhing and praying, demand a profit each day
And call for
a Retreat while pocketing their pay,
Who know how to tally their zeal with
Faithless, vindictive, full of artifices--
To ruin someone
they'll conceal their resentment
With a capacious cloak of Godly
They are doubly dangerous in their vicious ire
destroy us with what we admire,
And their piety, which gains them an
Is a tool to slay us with a sacred blade.
There are many men in
this false disguise,
But those with pure hearts are easy to recognize.
age, my friend, has brought into plain sight
Many glorious examples of what
Look at Ariston, or Periandre,
Oronte, Alcidamus, or
Their title is one that all agree to.
They decline any fanfare
for their virtue;
They don't indulge in vain ostentation;
faith finds form in moderation;
They never censure all of our actions,
they sense the vain pride in such transactions.
And, leaving boastful
rhetoric to others,
By their own actions they reprove their brothers.
appearance of evil is no concern of theirs;
They cast the best light on
They plot no intrigues; seek no one to fleece;
concern is to live at peace.
They don't seek to cause any sinner
Their abhorrence is directed only at sin.
And they don't take the
side of God more extremely
Than God himself--who could act
These are my models, and these are their ways;
are the ones that most merit praise.
But your man, in truth, is not made from
In good faith, perhaps, you praise his great zeal,
But I think
you're dazed by his
brother-in-law, are you
Orgon. Your humble servant. [He begins to
Pardon me. One word, brother.
Let's drop this discussion. You
know that Valere
Has your word that he'll be Mariane's
you've announced this fact in your house.
Orgon. That is
Then why postpone the event?
Orgon. I don't
Do you intend to recant?
Cleante. How could
you go back on your word?
Orgon. I didn't say I
I hope no absurd
Hitch could make you retract your own
do you speak with such finesse?
Valere sent me to ask you this
But what shall I report to him?
Orgon. What you
But it is essential
To know your plans. What are
To do all
Stick to the point. I know
Your promise. Will you keep it?
Yes, or no?
fear his promise will be withdrawn,
So I'd better report what's going on.
Come here. We need to
Father, what is it you seek?
Orgon [looking in the closet]. I'm seeing if
anyone can overhear us.
This is a perfect place for such a purpose.
now, it's okay. Mariane, I find
You endowed with a heart that's sweet
And you have always been most dear to me.
father's love brings true felicity.
Orgon. Well said, my child!
And to earn it fully
You should devote yourself to contenting
Mariane. That's how my devotion is put to the
Orgon. Good. Now what do you think of our guest,
Orgon. You. Think
well before you reply.
Mariane. Oh my! Tell me what to say . . .
and I'll comply.
[Dorine enters quietly and hides herself behind Orgon without being
Orgon. That's sensibly spoken. Now tell me, girl,
merit shines like a gleaming pearl,
That he warms your heart, and that you
To have him be your husband by my choice.
[Mariane recoils in dismay.]
Am I in error?
Whom do you wish that I should now swear
Touches my heart--and who would
If we joined, by your choice, in matrimony?
of the question, father, I assure
You! Why urge on me such an
Orgon. But, my dear, I wish it to be true,
And it should
be enough that I've chosen for you.
Mariane. What? Father, would
you . .
Yes, I intend, you see
To unite in marriage Tartuffe and my family.
will be your husband. I do declare it!
Since you have promised . .
Dorine, Orgon, Mariane
Orgon [perceiving Dorine]. What do you stare at?
You must be eaten
up with curiosity
To eavesdrop on my daughter and me.
don't know whether the rumor I hear
Is sly conjecture or a wicked
But I've just heard word of this marriage,
And I trust it is only
Orgon. Why? Is the idea itself so very
Dorine. I wouldn't believe it, sir, if you gave your
Orgon. I will make you believe it by-and-by.
Yes. You're going to tell us a bald-faced lie.
Orgon. I am only
saying what you will soon see.
Orgon. What I say, dear
girl, will soon be.
Dorine. Go on. Don't believe him! It's
Orgon. I say . .
Dorine. No, you've
gone too far,
And no one believes
Damn you, you shrew . . .
Dorine. Well, I believe you then; the worse
What? Monsieur, can you pose as one who's sage,
stroking your bearded visage?
And still be fool enough to wish . .
I have given you too much liberty,
And it no longer gives me any
Dorine. Monsieur, please. Keep your anger within
Are you mocking us with your silly plot?
Your daughter is no
match for a bigot;
He has other schemes to worry about.
And what would you
gain if she wed this lout?
With your wealth, what benefit would it
To pick a bum . . .
Say he has nothing;
For that reason, you should revere him the more.
a holy man and nobly poor.
It raises him up to greater grandeur
has renounced all wealth by his pure
Detachment from the merely
And his powerful love for the Eternal.
But my assistance may give
him the means
To restore his lands and remove his liens.
He is a man of
repute in the land of his birth,
And, even as he is, he's a man of
Dorine. Yes, so he tells us, but his vanity
Does not sit so
well with true piety.
A man pleased with a simple sanctity
his name and his dignity,
And the humility born of devotion
beneath such blatant ambition.
What good is his pride? . . . But perhaps I
Let's speak of the man--not his nobleness.
Can you bestow,
without feeling like a rat,
A girl like this on a man like that?
shouldn't you think of propriety
And foresee the end with anxiety?
that some girls cannot remain chaste
If their husband's tush is not to their
And that the best-laid plans for an honest life
Are somewhat easier
for the best-laid wife,
And that many a man with a horned head
his wife to another man's bed.
It is entirely too much to ask
That a wife
be faithful to a flabby ass.
And one who gives a girl to a man she
Is guilty before God for all her mistakes.
Consider the perils you
expose yourself to.
Orgon. So you think I should learn how to live from
Dorine. You could do worse than follow my lead.
Dear daughter, do drop this maid's daffy creed;
I know what's best for you in
It's true I betrothed you to young Valere,
But I hear he
likes his dicing and drinking
And even worse is inclined to
I note with regret we don't see him at mass.
Must he be there the same moment you pass
Like those who attend only to be
Orgon. Your advice isn't wanted. Don't
Tartuffe is on the path to salvation,
And that is a treasure
This wedding will bring blessings beyond measure,
crowned with great sweetness and pleasure.
Together you will live, thriving
Like new-born babes, or a pair of turtledoves.
You will never be
found in angry debate
For you will find all that you wish in this
Dorine. She'll only make him a cuckold, I'm sure.
Dorine. He looks
just like a caricature,
And his fate, monsieur, will make him an ass
matter how much virtue your daughter has.
Orgon. Don't interrupt me and
remember your place
And quit sticking your nose up in my
Dorine. I'm only trying, sir, to protect you.
[Hereafter she always interrupts him at the moment he begins speaking to his
Orgon. You're too kind, but do shut up--please do!
I didn't like you . .
I don't need liking.
Dorine. But I will like you, sir, despite your
honor is dear and I'd be provoked
To find you the butt of some smutty
Orgon. Can't you keep
In all good conscience,
It's a shame to foster such an
Orgon. Shut up, you viper, with your brazen traits . .
Dorine. What? You've been reborn, yet you give way to
Orgon. Yes, your twaddle has made me quite high-strung,
now insist that you hold your tongue.
Dorine. All right. But I'll
think in silence nonetheless.
Orgon. Think if you wish to, but strive
At shutting your mouth . . . or beware. [Turning to his
daughter] Let's see,
I have weighed everything quite
Dorine [aside]. I hate this silence. [She falls quiet every
time Orgon turns toward
Without being smug, I'll
Say Tartuffe's face . .
Yes, he has a fine muzzle!
Orgon. Is so fine that even if you
His other traits . . .
Dorine [aside]. And
they're a sorry lot!
[Orgon turns toward Dorine and, with his arms folded, listens while staring
in her face.]
If I were in her place, most assuredly
No man would wed me with
And I'd prove to him right after the wedding
That a wife's
vengeance lies in the bedding!
Orgon [to Dorine]. So you refuse to obey
me, is that true?
Dorine. What's your beef, sir? I'm not speaking
Orgon. Then what are you
Orgon. Very well. [aside] To give her a good
I think she needs a taste of the back of my hand.
[He prepares to slap her, but each time Dorine sees him looking at her, she
stands silent and erect.]
Child, you should approve of all I have planned . . .
And have faith in
the spouse . . . who's my designee.
[To Dorine.] Speak to
I've nothing to say to me.
Orgon. Just one little
I'm not in the mood.
Orgon. Because I was
Orgon. Now, daughter, let's see some
Accept my choice with complete deference.
away]. I'd thumb my nose at such a silly spouse.
[Orgon tries to slap Dorine and misses.]
Orgon. Daughter, your maid is a pest and would arouse
Vice in a
saint--she's an absolute shrew!
I'm so upset that I can't continue.
taunts have nearly driven me to swear,
And I need to calm down in the open
Dorine. Have you entirely lost your voice and heart?
Why must I
continue playing your part?
To think you allow such a mad proposal
voicing even a meek refusal!
Mariane. How can I resist such a harsh
Dorine. By any means! Don't be an easy
Tell him you can't love on command,
That you marry for yourself, not by
And since you are most concerned in these affairs
for yourself the sire of his heirs,
And that, if Tartuffe is so charming to
He can wed him himself--if that's his whim.
Mariane. A father,
I'm sure, has absolute power;
Before him I can only cringe and
Dorine. Use your head. Valere wants to tie the knot.
you really love him, I ask--or not?
Mariane. Your injustice to me has a
Dorine, how can you ask me such a thing?
Haven't I poured
out my whole soul to you,
And don't you know yet that my love is
Dorine. How do I know that your heart echoes your voice
that this love is truly your own choice?
Mariane. Your doubts, Dorine,
wrong me greatly;
My real feelings are shown far too
Dorine. You love him
Yes, with the strongest passion.
Dorine. And he seems to love you in
the same fashion?
Mariane. I think
And both of you burn equally
For this union in
Dorine. And about this other man, what's your
Mariane. I'd die before I'd submit to
Dorine. Fine! I hadn't thought of that
Death would give you such a forcible divorce.
What an ingenious
I hate to hear such stupid ideas.
Heavens! What a rotten mood you're in!
You have no pity for my pain,
Dorine. I have no sympathy for foolishness
And those who
meet a crisis with such weakness.
Mariane. But what do you want me to
do? I was born frail.
Dorine. A woman in love needs a heart of
Mariane. But haven't I kept it free for my lover
it is to win me from my father?
Dorine. What! If your father is a
Whose love for Tartuffe is completely lunatic
And who has
blocked the match you are now bewailing,
Is your lover to be damned for
Mariane. But am I to display how deeply I'm bitten
rejecting Tartuffe like one who's love-smitten?
Am I, because of Valere's
strength and beauty,
To renounce my modesty and duty?
And would you have
me show my heart to all . . . ?
Dorine. No, no, not at all. I'm
wrong to forestall
Your marriage to Tartuffe, and my defiance
in barring that alliance.
What reason have I for my outrageous
stop something so advantageous?
Tartuffe! Oh! Isn't he something
Surely Tartuffe is not made from such a mold,
viewed, as to make a person laugh;
'Twould be an honor to be his better
The whole world already crowns him with glory;--
Both in physique
and character he's laudatory;
He has red ears and a florid, flushing
With him for a mate you'd live in joyful grace.
What delight you will feel within
To know that you're wed to a man like
Mariane. Oh! Please stop talking, and show me the way
avoid this marriage. I will obey,
You've said enough, and I'm ready to
Dorine. No. A good daughter must obey her dad--
if he wishes her to make love
To an ape. What are you complaining
You will proceed to his little villa
Where you will get your absolute
Uncles and cousins to be entertained.
Right away you'll move among
the most urbane
Of hicks. First you will make some overture
wives of the judge and the tax assessor,
Who will kindly seat you on a
During Carnival, you may hope to have there
A ball with two
bagpipes for an orchestra
And maybe some puppets and a tame gorilla.
if your husband . .
Oh! You're killing me.
Please help me avoid this
Dorine. I am your
Oh! Dorine, mercy . . .
Dorine. To punish you, I ought to leave
Mariane. My dear
If I declared my love . . .
Dorine. No. Tartuffe is your man;
that's sure enough.
Mariane. You know that I've always trusted that
Help me . . .
I'm sure you will be tartuffed.
Mariane. All right! Since my fate
no longer moves you,
Henceforth you may leave me alone and blue;
sorrow my heart will draw relief,
And I know an absolute cure for my
[She starts to leave.]
Dorine. Whoa! I'm not really angry. Come back,--do.
In spite of
everything, I pity you.
Mariane. If I'm to be the one you
You'll see, Dorine, how quickly I shall die.
torture yourself. We can easily
Block them. . . . But look! I
think that's Valere I see.
Valere, Mariane, Dorine
Valere. Gossip is singing a little ditty,
My dear,--news to me and
That you will marry
That my father has such a plan in view.
father . .
Has altered his inclination.
Through him, all this has come to my
He wants this wedding--quite decidedly!
how does your heart respond to this plan,
Mariane. I don't
Your response is plain.
What do you recommend?
Valere. I recommend that you accept this
Mariane. You recommend
A wonderful choice, well worth attending to.
well! That's advice, sir, that I accept.
Valere. I doubt that
taking it causes you regret.
Mariane. No more regret than giving it
Valere. I gave it thinking pleasure would
Mariane. And I, I'll take it--simply to please you.
[moving upstage]. Let's see what comes of this
Valere. So that's your love for me? And did you
When you . . .
let's not speak of days gone by.
You've told me quite plainly that I must
As my mate the man they've chosen for that place,
And now I say
that I promise to obey
Since you so kindly advise me that
Valere. Don't excuse yourself through circumlocution:
already made your own resolution,
And you've seized upon a frivolous
To justify this lamentable ruse.
Mariane. Quite true and well
No doubt, and your soul
Never lost, for love of me, its
Mariane. Alas! Alas! You may as well think
Valere. Yes, I may think so, but my broken heart
too, suffering from Love's dart;
I know to whom I'll take my heart and
Mariane. No doubt, and the love that merit can command . .
Valere. Dear God, let's leave merit to one side.
I haven't much of
it, as you have signified,
But I know where there's a woman, soft-eyed
open-hearted . . . and this double-cross
May make her more inclined to
recompense my loss.
Mariane. The loss isn't great; and your
Will soon lead you to find a new mistress.
do my best--of that you may be sure!
When one is forgotten, it's hard to
And so I, too, must struggle to forget.
If I can't do it, I'll
fake it . . . and yet
I could never forgive my own servility
If I kept
loving one who abandoned me.
Mariane. What a noble, uplifting
Valere. Quite so. Everyone should give it their
What? Do you think that I should perpetuate
The flame of
love that I have felt of late,
And see you pass into another's
Without letting my heart seek other charms?
indeed. It's what I want, and I vow
I wish the thing were to happen
That's enough insults from you,
Madam, and now I will bid you adieu.
[He starts to leave; each time he does so, he quickly comes back.]
Mariane. Very well.
Valere [coming back]. At least remember that
Are the one who forced me down this avenue.
Valere. And that I
am doing nothing more
Than following the path you took
Mariane. So be it.
Fine. I'm doing what you want.
[returning again]. I'm leaving forever--not some short
Mariane. The sooner the better.
[He begins to leave and, when he is near the door, he returns.]
Ah. Well then, I'll soon be abroad.
Adieu, madam. [He slowly
Dorine [to Mariane]. I
You've lost your mind through extravagance,
only allowed you to go on
Like this to see what folly you might
[She grabs him by the arm and he makes a show of resistance.]
Huh? What do you want, Dorine?
No. I'm too mad. Don't intervene.
She wishes me to drain this
No, can't you see that my mind's made up?
[aside]. My presence pains him, I drive him away.
I think it would be
best if I didn't stay.
Dorine [She leaves Valere and runs after
Mariane]. Now where are you
Mariane. No, no, Dorine. It's none of your
Valere [aside]. I see that my presence causes her pain;
would be best if I freed her again.
Dorine [She leaves Mariane and runs to
Wait! May you both be damned if I want this mess!
you two and settle this fracas.
[She pulls them both together.]
Valere [to Dorine]. But what's your plan?
What do you wish to do?
Dorine. To patch things up a bit between you
[To Valere]. Are you out of your mind to fight in this
Valere. Did you hear her treat me like a popinjay?
Mariane]. Are you mad to have gotten so enraged?
Mariane. Did you
see what happened? It can't be assuaged.
Dorine. You're both
dunces. [To Valere] She wants nothing more
Than to be the one woman you
[To Mariane] He loves you alone, and to make you his wife
his only desire--I swear on my life!
Mariane [to Valere]. How, then,
could you give me such bad advice?
Valere. And how could you demand
it? Was that wise?
Dorine. You're both insane. Now give
your hands to me.
[To Valere] Come on.
Valere [giving his hand to
There. [To Mariane] Now yours, don't you see.
Mariane [giving her
hand as well]. What's the point of all
Lord! Quick! Come on!
Your love for each other can't be
[Valere and Mariane hold hands for awhile without looking at each other.]
Valere [turning toward Mariane]. Don't react so painfully by the
Try giving a fellow a civil look.
[Mariane turns her gaze on Valere and gives him a shy smile.]
Dorine. All lovers are crazy! It's sad, but true.
Mariane]. Am I not right to complain about you?
And to tell the truth,
weren't you rather unkind
To delight in trying to unsettle my
Mariane. What about you? Aren't you the bigger ingrate . .
Dorine. Let's wait until later for this debate
And try instead
to stop this marriage.
Mariane. Tell us, then, what we can use for
Dorine. We will wage warfare on every front.
is bluffing and playing a stunt.
[To Mariane] But it might be better for you
To sweetly consent to his crazy scheme
So that, whatever the
future may bring,
You can postpone and postpone this wedding.
time, we gain our remedy.
Sometimes you will feign a strange malady
sudden onset will bring some delay;
Sometimes an ill-omen will cause you
You saw a corpse and never felt queerer,
Dreamt of muddy water, or
broke a mirror.
The point above all is that no one, I guess,
Can force you
to marry unless you say, "Yes."
But our ship would sail in fairer
If you were never seen talking together.
[To Valere] Go, and
without delay employ each friend
To keep him on course toward what we
[To Mariane] We are going to seek help from his brother
also recruit your step-mother.
Valere [to Mariane].
Whatever we attempt to do,
In truth, my greatest hope resides in
Mariane [to Valere]. Although I cannot answer for my father,
vow I'll never belong to another.
Valere. How happy you have made
me! If they ever . . .
Dorine. Fie! You young lovers prattle
Be off, I say.
Valere [going a step and then
Finally . .
You go off that way, and you go the other.
Damis. May a bolt of lightning now strike me dumb,
treat me like a bum
If either respect or force can hinder me
my top at this calamity!
Dorine. For heaven's sake, control your
Your father has merely mentioned this measure.
No one does
everything he proposes.
How something opens may not be how it
Damis. I need to stop this vulgar coxcomb's plot
And in two
little words tell him what's what.
Dorine. Whoa now! Why don't
you let your stepmother
Manage him just as she does your father.
Tartuffe she has her own little ways
Of making him welcome all that she
And perhaps she makes his heart go pitter-patter.
Pray God it's
true! That would be a fine matter.
In fact she has summoned him for
In order to learn exactly what's at stake,
To find out his
feelings, and to let him know
What really rotten results would flow
any pretensions he might have to marry.
His valet says he's praying, and I
That he'll descend after he meditates.
Be off then, I beg
you, and let me wait.
Damis. I demand to be here the whole time they
Dorine. No. They must be
I won't even speak.
Dorine. You're kidding yourself. You're so
quick to anger,
And that would surely put us all in
Damis. No. I'm going to watch--without getting
Dorine. How tiresome you are! Here they come. Get
[Damis hides himself in a closet.]
Tartuffe, Laurent, Dorine
Tartuffe [observing Dorine]. Laurent, lock up my hair shirt and my
And pray for freedom from each carnal urge.
If anyone comes
calling, say I have gone
To share my alms with the poor souls in
Dorine [aside]. Such affectation and boastful
Tartuffe. What do you
To say . . .
Tartuffe [taking a handkerchief from his pocket].
Wait! By our Savior,
Please! Before you speak take this
seeing your bosom causes me grief.
Through one's eyes one's soul may be
And then sinful thoughts may grow unattended.
you are quite ready for temptation,
And bare skin makes on you a big
I truly don't know why you feel such passion;
I myself think
lust is out of fashion,
For I could see you nude from top to toe
your pelt setting my cheeks aglow.
Tartuffe. Put a little modesty in
Or I must leave you instantly perforce.
it is I who will leave you here in peace,
And I will just say this before I
Madam is coming down to visit you
And demands the favor of a
Tartuffe. Oh yes! Most willingly!
Isn't he sweet!
I'm even surer now that dog's in heat.
Will she soon
I think I can hear her.
Yes, there. Now I will leave you two
Tartuffe. May Heaven forever in its great bounty
Grant you good
health both in soul and body,
And bless your days as much as he
Who is the humblest of those your love inspires!
much obliged for your pious wishes, but please,
Let us be seated and put
ourselves at ease.
Tartuffe [sitting down]. Have you quite recovered
from your illness?
Elmire [sitting as well]. Yes, my headache quickly
lost its sharpness.
Tartuffe. My prayers haven't enough value to
Such grace from the Heavenly One on High,
But most of my recent
prayers have in essence
Been mainly focused on your
Elmire. Your concern for me is somewhat
Tartuffe. I dearly cherish your precious
And to restore it I would have given my own.
Such Christian charity is overblown,
But I am much obliged for all your
Tartuffe. I try to do as much for you as I dare.
I wish to speak of some private business
And am pleased there's no one to
Tartuffe. I, too, am delighted, and entre nous
very sweet being one-on-one with you.
For this also have I begged the
But only now has he granted it to me.
Elmire. I myself want
an encounter between us two
Where your whole heart is opened through and
[Without exposing himself and in order to better hear the conversation, Damis
opens the door of the closet in which he is hiding.]
Tartuffe. In exchange for this unique blessing, I
Desire only to
reveal to you my
Whole soul, and to swear that all my preaching
guests--though perhaps over-reaching--
Was not caused by any anger or
But rather by a zeal that's passionate
And pure . .
Elmire. I wholly understand and declare
My belief that you seek
only my welfare.
Tartuffe [pressing the tips of her fingers]. Yes,
madam, it's true; my devotion is such . . .
Elmire. You're hurting
Passion pushes me too much.
I never wanted to hurt you, I swear,
would rather . . .
[He puts his hand on her knee.]
Why is your hand there?
Tartuffe. I'm feeling your dress. Such
Elmire. Oh! Please let me go. You're tickling
[She pushes her chair back, and Tartuffe moves his forward.]
Tartuffe [putting his hand on her lacy collar].
Dear Lord! But this
workmanship is marvelous!
Lacework nowadays is miraculous.
I've never seen
anything quite so fine.
Elmire. That's true. But let's speak of
this concern of mine.
I hear that my husband may be breaking his word
giving you his daughter. What have you heard?
Tartuffe. In truth,
madam, some such words did transpire,
But that is not the joy to which I
And I see elsewhere those splendid attractions
Which I seek to
attain through all of my actions.
Elmire. Then all your earthly love
has been overthrown?
Tartuffe. My breast does not hold a heart made of
Elmire. I'm sure that all your thoughts are on salvation,
nothing less holds any fascination.
Tartuffe. The love that attracts us
to what's eternal
Does not stop our love for the merely temporal.
senses can be quite easily charmed
By the perfect Earthly works that God has
His glory is mirrored in those like you,
But in you yourself we
see its rarest hue.
He has molded your face with such sublime art
surprises the eye and transports the heart,
And I can't gaze upon you, you
Without worshipping in you both God and nature,
sensing in my soul an ardent love
For this, the most beautiful portrait by
At first I feared that my secret passion
Might be a tricky trap
laid by Satan,
And I even resolved to flee from your eyes
As if you were
something to exorcise.
But I finally learned, oh beauty most lovable,
my ardor for you could never be culpable,
That I should even consider it
And so I submit to my heart's delight.
I confess that I'm playing
an audacious part
In presenting to you the gift of my heart,
But I place
all my faith in your kindness
Like a beggar-man hindered by blindness.
you I seek peace, hope, and happiness;
On you depends my torment or my
And through you alone I will finally be
Happy if you will, or sad
if you please.
Elmire. That declaration is very urbane,
But in a man
of God it's a bit profane.
You ought to protect your heart a bit
And reflect more deeply on such a matter.
A saint like you whom we
all hail . . .
Tartuffe. I may be holy, but I'm nonetheless
And when one sees your heavenly charms,
It's time for reason to
throw up its arms.
I know such words from me may seem
Madam, after all, I am not an angel,
And if you condemn
the confession I'm making,
Admit nonetheless that your beauty's
From the first time I set eyes on your supreme
heart became yours and you my queen.
The ineffable sweetness of your divine
Shattered my stout heart and set it ablaze.
That look conquered
all--fasting, prayers, duty--
And turned my vows into praise of your
My eyes and my sighs have often shown my choice
But to make it
still clearer I now add my voice.
If you should look down with a kindly
Upon the base woes of a slave such as I
And if your great kindness
should happen to lead
You to stoop down and grant what I need,
always have for you, oh precious one,
A love that beggars all
With me your honor will never be damaged;
No disgrace can
attend an affair I have managed.
All these gallants at court, for whom wives
Are reckless in their deeds and rash in their words.
endlessly brag about every success.
Each favor they receive, they quickly
And their wagging tongues, on which you rely,
Dishonor the shrine
before which they lie.
But men like me burn with a discreet fever,
keep your sweet secrets safe forever.
The concern we have for our good
Will also preserve you in your own station;
In us you will
find, if you wish it, my dear,
Love without scandal, pleasure without
Elmire. I have heard your words, and your rhetoric
point clear--though you lay it on thick.
Aren't you afraid that I could be in
To tell my husband of your solicitude,
And that a sudden
knowledge of that sort
Might set back your hopes of his lasting
Tartuffe. I know that you are only too gracious
you will forgive my audacious
Deeds since they spring from a human
In that passionate love that you are bewailing,
And that you will
reflect when you view things afresh
That I am not blind, and a man's only
Elmire. Others might take things differently, I suppose,
discretion prevails, and I won't expose
This matter to my spouse. In
return, it's true,
I do want one little favor from you:
To push forward
without any sly snare
The wedding of Mariane and Valere,
To renounce on
your own the unjust power
That would enrich you with another's dower,
. . .
Elmire, Damis, Tartuffe
Damis [coming out of the closet in which he was hiding].
no. All this must be exposed.
By hiding here I've heard all he
And God in His goodness has guided me
To confound this noisome
To discover a way to take my vengeance
hypocrisy and insolence,
To wake up my father, and to justly screw
scumbag who wants to make love to you.
Elmire. No, Damis. It's
enough if he has striven
To reform and merit the pardon I've given.
make me retract what I have avowed.
I don't choose to discuss scandal out
A woman laughs at these masculine foibles,
And never plagues her
mate with paltry troubles.
Damis. You have your own reasons for acting
And I have reasons for my quid-pro-quo.
The very thought of sparing
him is a joke,
And the insolent pride of this base bloke
Has triumphed too
often over my just wrath,
And has sown too much trouble along my path.
too long that liar has ruled my old man
Blocking both my love and that of
His perfidy must be brought to light of day,
And for that God
gives us a ready way.
For this occasion I thank the good Lord;
It is far
too lucky to be ignored.
The only way to deserve to lose it
Is to have it
in hand and not to use it.
Elmire. But Damis . .
No, please, my mind is made up.
It is time to rejoice and fill up the
And you're trying in vain to obligate me
To give up the pleasure of
I'm going to expose this affair without delay;
This is just
the thing that will make my day.
Orgon, Damis, Tartuffe, Elmire
Damis. Father, it may surprise . . . and amuse you greatly . . .
hear the news of what's gone on lately.
You're being well paid for all your
By your friend's response to those tendernesses.
His great love
for you has shown its hold
Through his eagerness to make you a
And I heard him here confess to your bride
A love that has made
him heart-sick and dove-eyed.
At all costs she wants to remain
And preserve his secret--because she's sweet--
But I cannot bear
the man's impudence.
Besides, my silence would cause you
Elmire. Yes, I would never disturb my husband's rest
reporting the words of silly pest.
My honor does not depend on such a
Since I'm well able to resist flattering.
You wouldn't have spoken
out against my view
If I had any power over you.
Orgon, Damis, Tartuffe
Orgon. What do I hear? Good God! Is it
Tartuffe. Yes, brother, I'm wicked and culpable,
sinner, full of iniquity,
As great a wretch as there ever could be.
entire life has been soiled with evil;
It's nothing but a mass of sinful
And I see that God has, for my punishment,
Chosen to mortify me
with this event.
Let them connect any crime with my name;
I waive all
defense and take all the blame.
Believe what they tell you, stoke up your
And drive me like a felon from your path.
The shame that I bear
cannot be too great,
For I know I deserve a much worse fate.
Orgon [to his
son]. Traitor! Do you dare, by your duplicity,
To taint both his virtue
Damis. What? Can the false meekness of this
Cause you to belie . .
Shut up, you misfit.
Tartuffe. Oh, let him go on. You are
wrong to scold,
And you'd be wise to believe the story he's told.
of his claims, why should you favor me?
What do you know of my
Why put your faith in my exterior?
Why should you think that
No, no, appearances are fooling you,
I am the kind of man
you should eschew.
The whole world thinks that I have earned God's
But the plain truth is . . . that I'm worth nothing.
Yes, my dear son, speak. And don't merely chide.
Accuse me of
treason, theft, and homicide.
Call me every foul name you can recall.
deny nothing. I merit it all.
And I beg on my knees to bear this
As the shameful result of my life of sin.
Tartuffe]. That's too much, brother. [To his son] Why can't
you let go,
What! Have his words seduced you so . . .
Orgon. Keep quiet, you
bum! [To Tartuffe]. Brother, please arise.
[To his son].
He can . .
Damn! Do you surmise . . .
Orgon. If you say one word, I will
break your arm.
Tartuffe. In the name of God, brother, do no harm.
would rather face a ravening beast
Than that your dear son should be harmed
in the least.
Orgon [to his son].
Leave him in peace. On my two knees
I beg you to give him your grace .
Orgon [throwing himself to his knees and embracing Tartuffe].
[To his son] Wretch, see his
Then . .
I . .
Cease, I say.
I'm aware of your motive in this foray:
You all hate him,
and now I see how my wife,
Children, and maid conspire against his
You impudently try every trick you can
To alienate me from this holy
But the harder you try to drive him away,
The harder I'll try to get
him to stay.
And I'll hasten his marriage to Mariane
To demolish the pride
of this whole clan.
Damis. So you will force her to marry this
Orgon. Yes, this very night, to see you bellow.
I defy you
all, and stand here to say
I am the master and you must obey.
now. Retract your words, oh foul pollution!
Throw yourself down and
Damis. Who, me? Of that villain, by whose
pretense . . .
Orgon. So you refuse, you scum, and your
Persists? [To Tartuffe] A stick! A staff!
Don't hold me back.
[To his son] Get out of my house and don't even
And never again let me see your face.
Damis. Yes, I will go,
but . .
Quickly! Leave this place.
I am cutting you off and what is worse
am leaving you with my heart-felt curse.
Orgon. To offend in that way a saintly man!
Lord pardon him if you can.
[To Orgon.] If you only knew with what
I see them trying to blacken my name. . . .
Tartuffe. The mere thought of this
Makes me suffer from a torture so crude . . .
The horror I
feel . . . My soul longs to cry . . .
I can't even speak, and I'm sure I will
Orgon [He runs weeping to the door through which he had chased his
Villain! How I regret that I held my hand
And that I did not
crush you where you stand.
[To Tartuffe.] Calm yourself, brother and
try not to fret.
Tartuffe. Let's stop these squabbles that end in
The great friction I have caused makes me grieve,
And I believe,
brother, that I should leave.
Orgon. What? Surely you
They hate me and I see
That they want you to doubt my
Orgon. Who cares! Do you think I'll listen to
Tartuffe. No doubt they'll continue their stratagem;
same tales that you reject today
You may find credible some other
Orgon. No, brother,
Ah, brother, a man's mate
Can easily make her spouse
Tartuffe. Let me leave here at once
Escape the threat of another low blow.
Orgon. No, please
remain. I can't live without you.
Tartuffe. Well! I suppose
I will suffer if I do.
Still, if you wish . .
All right! It's a pact.
But in future I know how I must act.
tender, and friendship engages
Me to prevent gossip--however
I'll avoid your wife and you will not see me . .
Orgon. No, in spite of everyone, you and she
meet. I love to make a stir,
So day and night let them see you with
No, that's not enough, but this will make them stew:
I don't want to
have any heir but you,
And I'm going to legally designate
You as the owner
of my whole estate.
A frank and true friend, whom I take as my son,
dearer to me than my wife or children.
Will you accept the offer I am
Tartuffe. May God's will be done in this
Orgon. Poor man! Let's quickly put it all in
And let their envy choke on its own spiting.
Cleante. Yes, the whole town is talking about it,
And they don't
think it does you much credit.
And I've sought you out, sir, just for the
Of telling you bluntly what I think's at stake.
I'm not going to
dredge up the whole dispute;
The fact is Damis is in disrepute.
that he did act like a fool
And that you are unfairly being called
Shouldn't a Christian pardon the offense
And purge his soul of
desire for vengeance?
And should you permit him, for this one goof,
driven away from his father's roof?
I'll tell you again, and I'll be
You are scandalizing both young and old.
If you take my advice, you
will seek a truce
And not be a party to this boy's abuse.
Make an offering
to God of your acrimony,
And restore the son to his
Tartuffe. Alas! As for myself, I seek that
I do not have for him the slightest malice;
I wholly forgive him
of any blame,
And long to restore him to his good name.
But in the service
of God I can't permit
It, for if he remains I shall have to quit
house. No prior offense holds a candle
To his. Our meeting would
cause a huge scandal.
Lord only knows what people would assume!
impute it to cunning, I presume,
And say that my guilt has made me
To excuse him of any intent to offend,
And that I fear him and
wish to placate him
As a crafty move in my plan to checkmate
Cleante. I think you are making up excuses,
And your arguments,
monsieur, seem like ruses.
Must you assume the role of the Deity?
need us to punish the guilty?
Leave it to Him to take care of
He bids us to forgive every offense
And not to consider human
When we follow God's sovereign commandments.
the petty fear of what some may say
Prevent you from doing this good deed
No, let us always follow God's commands,
And leave all other
matters in His hands.
Tartuffe. I've told you already that I
Him, and that, sir, is God's directive.
But after such scandal and
God doesn't demand our cohabitation.
Cleante. And does
He demand that you lend your hand
To the pure caprice of the father's
And accept the gift of his whole estate,
Which you cannot justly
Tartuffe. Those who know me will not believe that
Do anything selfish or unjustified.
I hold worldly goods in quite low
I can't be dazzled by their phony gleam.
And if in the end I
decide to take
The gift that the father wishes to make,
It is only, I
swear, because I fear
That it could be left to a false profiteer,
it could be shared by those who would
Use it to do evil rather than
And who would not use it, as I'm sure I can,
For the glory of God
and one's fellow man.
Cleante. Oh, sir! Don't put on that
While your actions injure a rightful heir.
uneasy or risk your good health
By fretting about the perils of his
It is better spent on a young man's whim
Than that you be accused
of defrauding him.
I only wonder why you aren't ashamed
By this proposal
in which you are named.
In true religion is there some dictum
it's okay to make an heir your victim?
And if God has put some obstacle in
Against you and Damis sharing the same space,
Wouldn't you prefer to
be more discrete
And leave this house in a noble retreat
Than to sit and
see the son of the house
Thrust from his home like a beggarly
Believe me, it would prove your probity,
Monsieur, . .
Tartuffe. It is now, Monsieur, half past
Certain religious rites demand my presence,
And you must excuse me
for my absence. [He leaves.]
Elmire, Mariane, Dorine, Cleante
Dorine [to Cleante]. Please, sir, help us help her, for pity's
Her suffering is such that her heart may break,
And the pact her
father made this evening
Is the cause of all this awful grieving.
comes. Let's join forces, I beg you,
And try through skill or cunning
The vicious scheme that's left us all so troubled.
Orgon, Elmire, Mariane, Cleante, Dorine
Orgon. Ah! I'm pleased to see you all assembled.
Mariane] This contract here should make you very gay;
I'm sure you know
what I'm about to say.
Mariane [kneeling]. In the name of God, who
knows how I hurt,
And of everything which might move your heart,
for now, the rights of paternity
And release me from my vow of
Do not reduce me by some brutal rule
To asking God why you've
grown so cruel.
And this life, alas, that you gave to me--
Do not make it
a life of misery.
If, contrary to all my sweet hopes of
Joy, you forbid me
to wed the man I love,
Hear me at least--on my knees I implore
You not to
give me to a man I abhor,
And don't push me past the point of despair
using your full force in this affair.
Orgon [to himself, sensing himself
Be firm. This is no time for humanity!
Your fondness for him doesn't bother me.
Indulge it, and if it's not enough
Your whole estate to him--then give him mine!
I freely consent
and will sign on demand,
But please, please, do not offer him my hand,
allow me to live in a convent where I
May count the sad days till God lets me
Orgon. Young girls always play such religious pranks
fathers hobble their lusty flanks!
Get up! The harder you have to work
to bear it,
The greater the virtue and the merit.
Let this marriage
mortify your senses
And quit bothering me with your meek
Dorine. But . .
Orgon. Keep quiet, and stay out
of this matter.
I completely forbid you to add to the
Cleante. If you will allow me to offer some advice . .
Orgon. Brother, your advice is worth any price:
It is thoughtful
and I truly respect it,
But I hope you don't mind if I reject it.
[to her husband]. What can I think about what you're saying
your blindness is quite dismaying!
You must be besotted and led astray
refuse to believe what has happened today.
Orgon. My dear, I only call
'em as I see 'em.
You favor my son, that worthless young bum,
And I think
that you are afraid to condemn
His dirty trick on this most saintly of
You are, in fact, too calm to be believed;
You ought to have seemed a
bit more aggrieved.
Elmire. When a love-sick man makes a foolish
Must we take up arms as if honor's at stake?
And should we always
respond to small slips
With fire in our eyes and abuse on our lips?
myself, I laugh at these signs of lust;
It doesn't please me at all to grow
I seek wisdom tempered with charity,
And I'm not one of those
prudes whose asperity
Is such that they fight for virtue tooth and
And scratch a man's eyes out for being male.
Heaven preserve me from
that kind of virtue!
I am an honest wife, but not a shrew,
And I believe
that a calm, icy glance
Is quite enough to rebuff an advance.
I know what I know and I won't change my mind.
Elmire. I'm again amazed
that you could be so blind.
But would you keep that incredulity
If I made
you see that we have spoken truly?
But if I found a way
To make you see it all in light of day?
What a man! At least reply.
I don't ask you to believe me, but I
wonder what you will say of your good man
If I bring you to a place where you
Clearly see and hear these things? What then?
that case I would say . . . nothing again,
For it cannot
You've been blind too long,
And in calling me a liar, you're wrong!
your pleasure, but with modesty,
I'll make you witness my
Orgon. Good. I take you at your word. Now let's
How in the world you will prove this to me.
Elmire [to Dorine].
Bid him come to me.
He's a crafty one
And perhaps he won't easily be undone.
Dorine]. No, we're easily duped by our affection,
And vanity aids in
[Speaking to Cleante and Mariane]
Send him down here to me. And you can go.
Elmire. Bring the table here, and then crouch down low.
Elmire. Hiding you well is to
Orgon. Why under the
Just do what's required!
I've made my plans and we'll see how they
Get under the table, and when you're down there,
Don't let him see
you and try not to grunt.
Orgon. I really think I'm far too
But I'll stay through the end of your stratagem.
You won't, I'm sure, have a thing to condemn.
[To her husband, who is now under the table.]
Mind you, I'm going to have strange things to say
And you must not be
shocked in any way.
Whatever I may say, you must allow;
I only wish to
convince you, anyhow.
I'm going to use sex, since I'm reduced to it,
strip off the cloak of this hypocrite;
I'll stoke up the fires of his
And give a free field to this base upstart.
For your sake,
and to deepen his disrepute,
I'm going to pretend to welcome his
I'll quit just as soon as you've heard enough.
Things needn't go
farther than you wish, my love.
And you must stop them from becoming
When you think his mad love has gone too far.
Spare your wife and
don't leave me in his hands
Longer than reaching your conviction
This is your concern and you are in command.
Here he comes.
Keep still! Keep down! Understand?
Tartuffe, Elmire, Orgon (under the table)
Tartuffe. You wish to speak with me in here, I'm told.
Yes. I now have some secrets to unfold,
But shut the door before I say a
And look around--we mustn't be overheard.
[Tartuffe closes the door and returns.]
I don't want another fracas to ensue
Like the one that overtook us
Never before have I been so dismayed!
Damis startled me and made
For you. You must have seen that I did my best
his plan and soothe his unrest.
It is true that I was so filled with
That I never thought of denying his claim,
But by the grace of God,
I'm nearly sure
All is for the best and we're now more secure.
prestige of your name has dispelled the storm,
And my husband will never
suspect you of harm.
Defying those with rumors to foment,
He wants us
together at every moment.
And that is why without blame I can
with you although you're a man,
And that allows me to open my
Willingly to the sweet thoughts you impart.
Tartuffe. I find
it odd that you have kind words to say;
Earlier you treated me in a different
Elmire. Ah! If you're angry about that rebuff,
nothing about a woman's love!
And how little you know about our intent
you think a weak defense is really meant!
At such times our modesty must
With the tender feelings that triumph in the end.
No matter how
strongly you make love's claim,
In embracing it we always feel some
We resist at first, but in our faces
It's clear that we'll soon
yield to your embraces.
Our words and our wishes are often opposed:
refusal may mean we accept what's proposed.
No doubt I am making too free a
And I may be committing an indiscretion,
But since my attempt
at silence has gone awry,
Ask yourself why I sought to pacify
what made me listen so long
And so kindly to your sweet love song?
have reacted as you saw me do
If the offer of your heart didn't please me
And what should you be able to conclude
From my fervent desire to
The marriage that has been announced just now?
Isn't it that I'd
hate for a wedding vow
To come between us, and that I care for you
want nothing at all to split us in two?
Tartuffe. There is no pleasure
in Heaven above
Sweeter than such words from the lips I love;
honeyed sound flows richly through my senses
With the sweetness of the purest
The pleasure of pleasing you is my one goal,
And my heart finds
happiness in that role,
But that heart also takes the slight liberty
daring to doubt this felicity.
Perhaps these sweet words are a decorous
Designed to disrupt my hymeneal news;
And, if I may speak quite
freely with you,
I won't believe that all you say is true
assured that you couldn't lie
By a few of those favors for which I
Such favors would make me your devotee
And a true believer in your
fondness for me.
Elmire [she coughs to warn her husband].
Do you demand to
push on with such great speed,
And drain my heart dry by your burning
I risk my life in proclaiming my love,
And for you even that is not
Can't you be satisfied with what I say?
Must you force me into
going all the way?
Tartuffe. The less one merits, the more one
Mere words will never quench our raging fires.
A promised gift is
We rarely believe it, until we inspect it.
I, who so
little merit your favors,
Doubt the happy outcome of my labors.
And I will
not believe a thing, my dear,
Until you ease my pain to prove you're
Elmire. Good God, your love is too oppressive;
my soul and becomes obsessive!
What a crazy power it has on the
With what fierce passion it tears me apart!
What! Is there no
way to stave off your desire?
Won't you give me a moment to respire?
you think it is fair to be so firm,
To demand everything and watch me
To take what you want, pushing and pressing,
And abusing my
weakness in acquiescing?
Tartuffe. If you look on me with a kindly
Then prove how you feel by playing your part.
Elmire. But how
can I give you the things you seek
Without offending that God of whom you
Tartuffe. If it's only God that opposes my desire,
up a way to make him conspire,
And that need not restrain your heart, my
Elmire. But the decrees of God scare me to
Tartuffe. I can dispel your foolish fears, madame,
For I know
the art of quashing each qualm.
Though God forbids certain
With him one can reach one's accommodations.
It is a
science to stretch out the strings
Of conscience in the service of diverse
And to rectify an evil action
With the purity of our
Regarding these secrets, I shall instruct you;
You need only
allow me to conduct you.
Satisfy my desire and have no fear;
the sin and leave your soul clear.
[Elmire coughs more loudly.]
That's quite a cough,
Yes, it's a torment.
Tartuffe [offering Elmire a piece of candy].
help to have a licorice or mint?
Elmire. It's an obstinate illness, and
That all the mints in the world won't help me
That's for sure!
Tartuffe. Your scruples at least are easy to
You can be sure that I will keep things quiet--
A deed is evil only
if men spy it.
The noise of scandal is the source of offense;
There is no
sin if one sins in silence.
Elmire [after having coughed and knocked on the
At last I see I'm forced to go astray,
And I must consent to let
you have your way,
And that I cannot hope that short of the deed
be content and willing to concede.
It is very hard to be forced to do
And in spite of myself to stoop down to it;
But since you persist in
making me obey,
Since you refuse to believe what I say,
And since you
demand more convincing proof,
I'll have to give in and quit acting
If this action causes anyone grief,
The blame be on him who refused
The fault most certainly is none of mine.
madame, I agree and that is fine . . .
Elmire. Peek out of the door and
see, I beg you,
If my spouse is spying on our rendezvous.
Why do you care what he sees or where he goes?
He's a man who loves to be led
by the nose.
Our trysts are something he's proud of achieving,
watch us go to it without believing.
Elmire. No matter. Please,
go have a look outside;
I'd hate to think he's found some place to hide.
Orgon [coming out from under the table]. There, I swear, is an
I can't get over it. What is his plan?
How now? Come out so soon? Were you having fun?
Get back down
there. We've only just begun.
Wait till the end to be completely
And don't put your faith in mere conjecture.
Orgon. No man
more evil has been spawned in Hell.
Elmire. Dear Lord! Don't
believe the lies people tell.
Be wholly convinced before you
Cautious men shun the slips that come with speed.
[She pushes her husband behind her.]
Tartuffe, Elmire, Orgon
Tartuffe [without seeing Orgon]. All things conspire, madame, for my
I've closely examined the whole apartment;
No one is around,
and my heart's delight. . .
[Just as Tartuffe comes forward with open arms to embrace Elmire, she steps
back and Tartuffe sees Orgon.]
Orgon [stopping him]. Hold on! Your desires are too quick to
And you mustn't let passion be overdone.
Oh! Man of
blessings, you wished to give me one!
How temptation has taken over your
You'd marry my daughter, and covet my wife!
I've doubted your word
for quite a long while,
And I've always believed you'd change your
But this is enough to give me my proof:
I am fed up and want no
Elmire [to Tartuffe]. It was against my will to act
But I was forced into the part I play.
Orgon]. What? You think . .
Come, please, let's have no to-do.
Get out of my home without more
Tartuffe. My intent . .
This is no time for sly repartee;
You must leave my house
Tartuffe. You must leave, you who speak as the
The house is mine, and you'd better learn fast or
I shall show you
that it's senseless to pick
A fight with me using this cowardly
That it will get you nowhere to insult me,
And that I will punish
Avenge God's wounds, and make you grieve
For talking here
about forcing me to leave.
Elmire. What is he saying and what is he after?
ashamed to say this is no time for laughter.
Orgon. I see
my error by what he said;
I gave him my lands. What was wrong with my
Elmire. You gave him . .
Yes and they can't be restored,
But there's something else that troubles me
Elmire. What is
I'll tell you soon, but first there's
A certain box I want to find
Cleante. Where are you
It might make sense
To begin by having a conference
About everything that
has happened lately.
Orgon. That box of papers troubles me
More than all the rest, it's cause for distress.
Why are those papers important to possess?
Orgon. My unfortunate friend
Argus, when he
Put them into my hands, swore me to secrecy.
He chose to
rely on me as he fled,
And these papers, according to what he said,
crucial to both his life and his wealth.
Cleante. Then why didn't you
keep them to yourself?
Orgon. It was a matter of conscience, you
So I consulted Tartuffe in secrecy,
And his arguments came to
That he should keep the box for security,
So I could deny
having it on hand.
And thus I'd have a subterfuge on demand
With which my
conscience might muddle through
In swearing to things that I knew weren't
Cleante. You're in trouble, judging by appearances;
deed of gift and these confidences
Are, to tell you my thoughts quite
Measures that you took very thoughtlessly.
They might put you in
jail with such evidence,
And since that man has it, it makes no sense
drive him away through your imprudence;
You need to regain his full
Orgon. With what a fair appearance and touching zeal
hides a wicked soul and a heart of steel!
And I, who received him begging and
broke . . .
That's it, I renounce all such pious folk.
Henceforth, I will
hold them as wholly evil
And do my best to send them to the
Cleante. It's just like you to get carried away!
never stick to the middle way.
To reason rightly is too much bother;
always rush from one excess to another.
You can see your error and now you
That by a false zeal you were brought low.
But to redeem yourself
does logic demand
That you embrace an error that's even more grand?
must you confuse the heart of a shill
With the hearts of all the men of good
Because a rascal had the luck or grace
To dupe you with his austere
and shining face,
Must you believe everyone acts that way
And no true
church-man can be found today?
Leave to libertines these foolish
Seek true virtue, not a false deconstruction.
Never rush into
And strive instead for moderation.
If possible, don't
admire false pretense,
But also don't give true zeal cause for
And if you must fall to one extreme,
Err in being too free with
Damis, Orgon, Cleante
Damis. Father, is it true that this cad threatens you,
That he has
forgotten the gifts that bound you two,
And that his shameful pride,
Has repaid your kindness with tyranny?
Orgon. Yes, son;
he's brought me to the verge of tears.
Damis. Leave him to me.
I'll cut off his ears.
You must not flinch before his insolence
soon restore your independence,
And, to end the matter, I'll slice him like
Cleante. That's exactly like a bratty boy's boast.
make your angry words more moderate.
We live during a time and in a
Where violent acts are clearly unlawful.
Madame Pernelle, Mariane, Elmire, Dorine, Damis, Orgon,
Madame Pernelle. What's happening? The tales I'm told are
Orgon. Novel things have been happening to me,
And for all my
kindness, this is my fee.
I lift the man out of his misery;
brother, I take him home with me;
Each day I treat him with greater
I give him my daughter and all I possess;
And at the same time
the lying low-life
Looks for the best way to seduce my wife,
fully content with what he's achieved,
He threatens me with the gifts he's
And he wishes to use, in ruining me,
Those profits he gained
from my foolish bounty
To drive me from the home that I gave to him
reduce me to the state that he was in.
Dorine. Poor man!
Pernelle. Son, I don't believe he'd allow
Himself to take
part in actions so foul.
Orgon. How's that?
Pernelle. People always resent holy men.
Mother, what were you trying to say just then?
Madame Pernelle. That in
your home one sees the strangest things;
Among them is the hate that envy
Orgon. How is it hate when I've told you the truth?
Pernelle. I warned you often when you were a youth:
In this world
virtue is oppressed forever;
The envious may die, but envy
Orgon. But what does this have to do with today?
Pernelle. People are telling you lies and hearsay.
already said that I myself saw it.
Madame Pernelle. The malice of
gossips is infinite.
Orgon. You'll make me damn myself, Mother. I
I saw with my eyes just what he would do.
Some tongues always have some poison to spit,
And nothing on earth is safe
Orgon. I do not know what these words of yours
I've seen it, I say, seen, with these eyes seen--
Do you know the
word, seen? Must I shout it
In your ears a hundred times and still you
Madame Pernelle. Dear Lord! Appearances may be
You shouldn't judge based on what you're
Orgon. I'll go mad!
Pernelle. People are prone to
Misjudgment is part of the human condition.
Orgon. So I
must interpret charitably
His desire to cuckold me?
Don't you see
That to accuse a man you need just cause,
And until you're
quite sure, you ought to pause.
Orgon. To be more certain, what would
Should I have waited until before my eyes
He had . . . You'll
make me say something quite lewd.
Madame Pernelle. I'm sure that a holy
zeal has imbued
His soul, and I can't begin to believe
That he would be
willing to cheat or deceive.
Orgon. Leave me . . . I'm now so angry
that if you
Were not my mother, I'm not sure what I'd do.
Orgon]. This is fair payment, sir, for what we received.
believe us; now you're not believed.
Cleante. We are wasting time on
That would be better spent in active measures.
not ignore this swindler's threats.
Damis. What! Does his
boldness have no boundaries yet?
Elmire. For myself, I don't believe
His ingratitude would be too visible.
Orgon]. Don't put your faith in that. He will find ways
with reason all the things he says;
And with less than this the people in
Have forced their foes to cringe and cower.
I tell you again:
well-armed as they are,
You should never have pushed him quite so
Orgon. True, but what could I do? Facing that
I felt resentment that I never mastered.
Cleante. I deeply
desire to arrange between you
Some shadow of peace, however
Elmire. If I had known that he possessed such arms,
never have set off these alarms,
And my . . .
Orgon [to Dorine, seeing
Monsieur Loyal enter].
this man want? Go and see.
I don't wish to have anyone meet with
Monsieur Loyal, Madame Pernelle, Orgon, Damis, Mariane, Dorine,
Monsieur Loyal [to Dorine]. Hello, my dear sister. Could you
If your master is
He has company,
And I doubt he'll be able to see you now.
Loyal. I have not come here to cause a row.
I don't think that my
presence will displease
Him; I come, in fact, to put him at
Dorine. Your name?
Tell him only that I've come here
For Monsieur Tartuffe, and to give him
Dorine [to Orgon]. It's a man who has come quite civilly,
behalf of Monsieur Tartuffe, to see,
He says, to your pleasure.
You'd best find out
Who he is and what he has come here about.
Cleante]. Perhaps he has come here to reconcile us.
How should I
act and what should we discuss?
Cleante. Don't let any of your anger
And if he speaks of a deal, make him be clear.
Monsieur Loyal [to
Orgon]. Greetings, sir. May God destroy all your foes
you as much as I propose!
Orgon [aside to Cleante]. This civil start
meets my approbation
And foreshadows some accommodation.
Loyal. At one time I was your father's employee,
And this whole house
is very dear to me.
Orgon. I ask your pardon, sir, but to my
I'm totally ignorant of your name.
Monsieur Loyal. My name is
Loyal. I come from Normandy.
I'm the bailiff here, in spite of
For the last forty years, thanks be to God,
I've done my duty and
retained by job.
And I've come to you, with your permission,
To serve this
notice of your eviction.
Orgon. What! You're here . .
have no irritation.
This is nothing more than notification,
An order to
evict both you and yours,
Put your furniture out and lock the
Without pardon or delay to fulfill . . .
Leave this place?
Yes, monsieur, if you will.
This house now belongs, I have ample proof,
your very good friend, Monsieur Tartuffe.
He is master and lord of all your
By virtue of a deed he showed me himself.
It is in due form and
cannot be doubted.
Damis [to Monsieur Loyal]. What impudence! I'm
amazed about it.
Monsieur Loyal [to Damis]. You and I, sir, have no
business and you'd
Best leave things to this man [pointing to Orgon], who's
civil and shrewd,
And knows too well the duties of my office
To wish to
oppose himself to justice.
Orgon. But . . .
Monsieur Loyal [to
Orgon]. I know that not even a million
Dollars would make you cause a
And that you will be an honest citizen
And let me fulfill the
orders I'm given.
Damis. You may soon feel upon your black
Monsieur Bailiff, the heavy weight of this cane.
[to Orgon]. Command your son to be quiet or depart,
Monsieur; I would regret
to have to report
All this and make these matters more official.
[aside]. This Monsieur Loyal seems quite disloyal!
Loyal. For all worthy men there's a place in my heart,
And I would not
have wished, sir, to take part
In this, except to lift some of your
By preventing the chore from falling to one
Who might not share my
opinion of you
And who wouldn't proceed as gently as I do.
And what could be worse than the evil crime
Of evicting me?
Loyal. I'm giving you time,
And until morning I'll
hold in abeyance
The execution of this conveyance.
I shall only come here
with ten of my boys
To spend the night, without scandal or noise.
sake of form please bring to me, before
You go up to bed, the keys to your
I'll take care not to disrupt your repose
And not to do anything you
But tomorrow morning you must get set
To empty the house,
down to the last brochette.
My boys will assist you. Each one's a
And will do all he can to help move you out.
I'm doing my best
to use common sense,
And, since I'm treating you with such indulgence,
beg you, sir, to act the same way to me.
Let no one bar me from doing my
Orgon [aside]. With a happy heart I would at once pay
hundred francs that are mine today
For the power and pleasure of hitting his
With one absolutely sensational clout.
Cleante [quietly, to
Go easy, don't make things
My hand itches
To get in a fight with these sons of bitches.
Monsieur Loyal, I think it might become you
To have your broad back beaten
black and blue.
Monsieur Loyal. These wicked words deserve
And women, too, may earn incarceration.
Cleante [to Monsieur
Loyal]. Let's end it now; that's enough for today.
Hand over the paper,
and be on your way.
Monsieur Loyal. Until later, then. Heaven
keep you in joy!
Orgon. May it confound you, and your employer!
Orgon, Cleante, Mariane, Elmire, Madame Pernelle, Dorine,
Orgon. There! You now see, mother, that I was right,
can judge of the rest by this writ.
Do you admit at last that he can
Madame Pernelle. It's as if a bolt has struck from the
Dorine [to Orgon]. You're wrong to complain, and wrong to blame
These things show the grand plans of your seraphim.
love finds consummation
In proving that wealth causes degradation,
from pure charity he wants to remove
Every obstacle between you and God's
Orgon. Shut up. . . . I'm always saying that to you.
[to Orgon]. Let us consider what we ought to do.
Elmire. We must
expose this man's insolent acts.
His deeds invalidate all the
And his disloyalty will seem too plain
If he tries to use them
for personal gain.
Valere, Orgon, Cleante, Elmire, Mariane, Madame Pernelle, Damis,
Valere. I'm sorry, sir, that I've come to distress you;
dangers may soon oppress you.
A friend, whose love for me is deep and
And who knows how much I care about you,
Has had enough courage to
The secrecy of affairs of state
And has just now sent me word that
Be well-advised to take sudden flight.
The villain who has been
imposing on you
Has gone to the Prince to accuse you too,
And put into his
hands, like a blade of hate,
The vital papers of a traitor of State,
he says that you've kept in secrecy
Despite the duties of aristocracy.
don't know the details of the alleged crime,
But a warrant against you has
And he himself is assigned to assist
Those who will soon come
to make the arrest.
Cleante. Now his claims are well-armed; and the
Seeks to become master of your estate.
Orgon. I swear, that
man is a vile animal!
Valere. The slightest trifling could well be
My coach is right here to take you away
With a thousand louis that
I've pledged to pay.
Don't lose any time; the arrow has sped,
And this is
one blow that ought to be fled.
I myself will guide you to a safe
And will stay with you to be sure there's no chase.
owe you much for your solicitude!
But there isn't time for my
And I pray to God to grant what I need
So that one day I may
repay this good deed.
Farewell. The rest of you take care . .
We'll look after everything when you're gone.
Police Officer, Tartuffe, Valere, Orgon, Elmire, Mariane,
Madame Pernelle, Cleante, Damis, Dorine
Tartuffe [stopping Orgon]. Slowly, slowly, sir. You needn't run
You won't have to go far to hide in your lair.
In the Prince's name
we will shackle you fast.
Orgon. Traitor, you've kept this final shaft
This is the blow with which you dispatch me,
And this is what
crowns all your perfidy.
Tartuffe. Your scorn causes me scant
I bear it as a holy obligation.
Cleante. This is scant
sign of your moderation.
Damis. How impudently the wretch mocks
Tartuffe. None of your outbursts mean a thing to me,
I think of nothing but doing my duty.
Mariane. Your pretense to honor
is all a fake,
And this is just the right job for you to
Tartuffe. The task can only shower me with grace
Prince's command has sent me to this place.
Orgon. But don't you recall
how my charity
Raised you, you ingrate, from your misery?
Yes, I know that I once received assistance,
But my duty to the Prince
demands this persistence:
'Tis a sacred duty of such fortitude
That it has
suppressed all my gratitude,
And I would sacrifice to this powerful
Friends, wife, parents, and myself, of course.
How well he can create
A treacherous cloak from all we
Cleante. But if this zeal which drives you, and with
You plume yourself, lifts you to a holy niche,
Why is it that it
didn't come to life
Until after he caught you with his wife,
And why did
you only denounce him today
After honor made him chase you away?
claim that the gift of all his estates
Ought to distract you from duty's
But if you planned to reveal his treason here,
Why were you
willing to take his wealth back there?
Tartuffe [to the Officer]. From
all this noise, sir, please deliver me,
And be so kind as to enforce your
Police Officer. Yes, I've been rather slow to issue it.
own mouth aptly invites me to do it;
And so it will be done if you will
Straight to the jail that will be your new home.
Who? Me, sir?
But why to prison?
Police Office. I need not explain to you my
[To Orgon.] Calm yourself, sir, after passions of such
We're ruled by a Prince who's a foe to deceit,
A Prince whose eyes
can read what the soul has writ,
And who can't be fooled by a
Blessed with a fine discernment, his great heart
the whole picture, not just each part.
Nothing can drive him to
His firm reason clings to moderation.
He confers on men of
worth immortal glory;
But that zeal is not blind or peremptory,
love for what's true does not turn his eye
From the power of falseness to
This man here was unable to entrap him;
His defenses are sound
when such snares enwrap him.
From the start, he pierced with his perceptive
Through the veils that hid this evil from light.
himself by accusing you,
And, in divine justice, revealed his true
to the Prince as an infamous cad
Whose deeds under another name were so
That the record they made was wholly black
And Satan might use them as
In short, this king was revolted to see
His ingratitude to
you and disloyalty;
To his other crimes, he has joined this one
only allowed it so everyone
Could see his audacity's evil ends
see him required to make amends.
All your papers, which the wretch has pawed
Are here taken away and returned to you.
With his sovereign power
he will abrogate
The contract by which you gave away your estate,
finally he pardons that secret offense
Which you once committed through
This is the reward for the courage you showed
In support of
his rights in the late episode,
And to demonstrate that, when least
One's past deeds may be recollected,
That he will never forget a
And that good outweighs evil in time of need.
Heaven be praised!
We're no longer distressed.
Elmire. What a happy
Who could have guessed?
Orgon [to Tartuffe, whom the Officer is leading
Good. There you go, traitor . .
Ah! Brother, cease,
And don't degenerate to indignities.
himself this miserable clown,
And don't add to the remorse that weighs him
Hope instead that his heart may one day
Make a happy return to the
That he'll reform his life and lament his past,
our great Prince to temper justice at last.
You should throw yourself on your
knees in praise
Of the kindness and lenience shown these
Orgon. Yes, that's well said. Let us kneel down with
And praise the kind deeds of his envoy.
Then, having acquitted part of
Let's turn to address the claims of beauty,
And by a fine
wedding crown in Valere
A lover who's both generous and sincere.
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