by: Molière



MASCARILLE: Ah, Viscount!

JODELET: Ah, Marquis! [Embracing each other.]

MASCARILLE: How glad I am to meet you!

JODELET: How happy I am to see you here.

MASCARILLE: Embrace me once more, I pray you.

MADELON: [To CATHOS.] My dearest, we begin to be known; people of fashion find the way to our house.

MASCARILLE: Ladies, allow me to introduce this gentleman to you. Upon my word, he deserves the honour of your acquaintance.

JODELET: It is but just we should come and pay you what we owe; your charms demand their lordly rights from all sorts of people.

MADELON: You carry your civilities to the utmost confines of flattery.

CATHOS: This day ought to be marked in our diary as a red-letter day.

MADELON: [To ALMANZOR.] Come, boy, must you always be told things over and over again? Do you not observe there must be an additional chair?

MASCARILLE: You must not be astonished to see the Viscount thus; he has but just recovered from an illness, which, as you percieve, has made him so pale.

JODELET: The consequence of continual attendance at court and the fatigues of war.

MASCARILLE: Do you know, ladies, that in the Viscount you behold one of the heroes of the age. He is a very valiant man.

JODELET: Marquis, you are not inferior to me; we also know what you can do.

MASCARILLE: It is true we have seen one another at work when there was need for it.

JODELET: And in places where it was hot.

MASCARILLE: [Looking at CATHOS and MADELON.] Ay, but not so hot as here. Ha, ha, ha!

JODELET: We became acquainted in the army; the first time we saw each other he commanded a regiment of horse aboard the galleys of Malta.

MASCARILLE: True, but for all that you were in the service before me; I remember that I was but a young officer when you commanded two thousand horse.

JODELET: War is a fine thing; but, upon my word, the court does not properly reward men of merit like us.

MASCARILLE: That is the reason I intend to hang up my sword.

CATHOS: As for me, I have a tremendous liking for gentlemen of the army.

MADELON: I love them, too; but I like bravery seasoned with wit.

MASCARILLE: Do you remember, Viscount, our taking that half-moon from the enemy at the siege of Arras?

JODELET: What do you mean by half-moon? It was a complete full moon.

MASCARILLE: I believe you are right.

JODELET: Upon my word, I ought to remember it very well. I was wounded in the leg by a hand-grenade, of which I still carry the marks. Pray, feel it, you can perceive what sort of wound it was.

CATHOS: [Putting her hand to the place.] The scar is really large.

MASCARILLE: Give me your hand for a moment, and feel this; there, just at the back of my head. Do you feel it?

MADELON: Ay, I feel something.

MASCARILLE: A musket shot which I received the last campaign I served in.

JODELET: [Unbuttoning his breast.] Here is a wound which went quite through me at the attack of Gravelines.

MASCARILLE: [Putting his hand upon the button of his breeches.] I am going to show you a tremendous wound.

MADELON: There is no occasion for it, we believe it without seeing it.

MASCARILLE: They are honour's marks, that show what a man is made of.

CATHOS: We have not the least doubt of the valour of you both.

MASCARILLE: Viscount, is your coach waiting?


MASCARILLE: We shall give these ladies an airing, and offer them a collation.

MADELON: We cannot go out today.

MASCARILLE: Let us send for musicians then, and have a dance.

JODELET: Upon my word, that is a happy thought.

MADELON: With all our hearts, but we must have some additional company.

MASCARILLE: So ho! Champagne, Picard, Bourguignon, Cascaret, Basque, La Verdure, Lorrain, Provençal, La Violette. I wish the deuce took all these footmen! I do not think there is a gentleman in France worse served than I am! These rascals are always out of the way.

MADELON: Almanzor, tell the servants of my lord marquis to go and fetch the musicians, and ask some of the gentlemen and ladies hereabouts to come and people the solitude of our ball. [Exit ALMANZOR.]

MASCARILLE: What do you say of those eyes?

JODELET: Why, Marquess, what do you think of them yourself?

MASCARILLE: I? I say that our liberty will have much difficulty to get away from here scot free. At least mine has suffered most violent attacks; my heart hangs by a simple thread.

MADELON: How natural is all he says! he gives to things a most agreeable turn.

CATHOS: He must really spend a tremendous deal of wit.

MASCARILLE: To show you that I am in earnest, I shall make some extempore verses upon my passion. [Seems to think.]

CATHOS: O! I beseech you by all that I hold sacred, let us hear something made upon us.

JODELET: I should be glad to do so too, but the quantity of blood that has been taken from me lately, has greatly exhausted my poetic vein.

MASCARILLE: Deuce take it! I always make the first verse well, but I find the others more difficult. Upon my word, this is too short a time; but I will make you some extempore verses at my leisure, which you shall think the finest in the world.

JODELET: He is devilish witty.

MADELON: He--his wit is so gallant and well expressed.

MASCARILLE: Viscount, tell me, when did you see the Countess last?

JODELET: I have not paid her a visit these three weeks.

MASCARILLE: Do you know that the duke came to see me this morning; he would fain have taken me into the country to hunt a stag with him?

MADELON: Here come our friends.